Start Your Christmas Budget Today
Before you start yelling at me for talking about Christmas in August, let me remind you that you have 141 days till you give your Christmas gifts. That may sound like a lot of time, but if you need to budget and save up, it’s really not. If you want to begin right after Thanksgiving, that means you have 108 days to save your pennies before shopping for your loved ones this holiday season. Time to get your budget in place to avoid the stress of the holiday crunch.
1. Make a list of who you shopped for last year; decide who to shop for this year
Has your family changed over the past year? Do you have more or less people to shop for than last year? Make a master list of people to shop for this year based off of who you shopped for last year. Double check that everyone has their wish lists on Giftster. If they don’t, invite them to your group.
If you have kids, don’t forget teacher and coach gifts. You may also include service people who you give a special little something to at the end of each year.
2. Put your list in order of those who you will likely spend most of your budget on to least
This could be a sequential list starting with your spouse or significant other all the way down to those who you give Christmas cards to. Another way to do this is to have categories of people who you shop for: immediate family, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, long distance relatives, friends, co-workers, etc. Once you have your budget, you can assign an amount per category and break it up by the number of people in that category.
3. Decide when you plan to start shopping
This will help you establish a timeline for saving. Count how many weeks there are between now and that date so you know how many weeks you’ll have to save.
4. Start planning your savings in one of two ways:
- Decide on a maximum amount to spend on each person on your list.
- Add up these amounts to get a total of how much you plan to spend on gift giving.
- Divide this amount by the number of weeks you plan to save money.
- Is the amount you need to save too much? Too little? Adjust accordingly.
- Decide on an amount of money that you can set aside per week to put towards gift giving.
- Multiply that amount by the number of weeks you plan to save money.
- Based on your prioritized list and the amount you can save, assign a portion of your budget per person or category.
- Is the amount you need to save too much? Too little? What can you do to save up some extra money?
5. Save up!
Now that you’ve made a plan, start putting that money to the side so you’ll have it for when you’re ready to shop.
6. Start looking at wish lists
Even if you don’t plan to shop for items quite yet, you can begin building your shopping list with Giftster. Review wish lists and reserve items so no one else scoops them up to give. This will build your shopping list. Keep your eye out for sales and special holiday deals for the items you plan to buy. To see everything you’ve reserved, click on my shopping list in your account. If you need to give someone a nudge to add more wish list items, send them a note through their list to ask for an update.
7. Enjoy stress-free holiday shopping
A little planning goes a long way. Create a budget, use Giftster to plan and shop, enjoy shopping without stress and get gifts right, and you’ll have more time on your hands to enjoy the season and your loved ones. What better gift to give yourself!
New to Giftster? Create your free account today and plan on having stress-free gift giving this Christmas.