Christmas Micro Budgets

Categories: Budget

Shopping for Christmas gifts can surely be a budget buster. If you go shopping and  do not have a list or calculated in advance how much you are going to spend on particular individuals, your emotions may get the best of you, and you will wake up with a massive debt hangover after the holidays. Also it is not uncommon for people to buy gifts for themselves too. So how do you go about staying on budget during the Christmas season? Send everyone on your list a card, telling them you made a donation in their name, but then don’t. Just kidding! The answer is a Christmas Micro Budget and a plan:

  1. Consult your budget, or your ledger of income and expenses to determine how much money you can spend total on Christmas gifts, for example let’s say you can afford $500
  2. Make a list of people who you are going to buy gifts for
  3. Divide the total number of people by your budget, so if you have 20 people then you can spend $25 per person
  4. If there are people who you are going to spend more than $25, then subtract. For example if you think you need to spend $100 for two people, then that leaves $300 to spread out among the remaining 18 people or 16.66 per person
  5. Get $500 of cash and put in into one envelope
  6. Leave all of your credit (keep store cards only if they give an additional discount plus a coupon) and debit cards, and checkbook at home
  7. Gather your shopping list
  8. Go the websites of the stores you shop, and dig through the ads for sales and coupons, cut/print coupons and take with you
  9. Go shopping, and keep track of each person you buy for and how much you spend