How Do You Prepare Your Budget For Holiday Spending?

How Do You Prepare Your Budget for Holiday Spending?

Holiday spending can take a toll on your finances. In fact, some people go into debt over it. In one poll, 37% of consumers say they rely on credit cards to fund their spending. A little preparation can help you avoid going broke over the holidays, so how do you get ready for holiday spending?

Photo by kboyd.

Ideally, it's as simple as creating a budget and taking steps to stick to it. In practice, of course, it's not always that easy. Between travel, last minute presents, hostess gifts, and so on, many of us end up spending a lot more than we anticipated.

Maybe you start buying stuff early; maybe you plan to shop on the right days. Either way, if you're a pro at sticking to a budget and not overspending on the holidays, we want to know your best tips. So tell us: how do you prepare your budget for holiday spending?


    I been given so much crap this week from work friends about having already completed my xmas shopping over the weekend. My budget is to save $50 a fortnight towards birthday and xmas gifts. which is around $1300 a year, covers my Mum, Dad, Dads Partner, Brother, his wife, and Nephew. It also includes when I shout a friend lunch for their birthday which is common practice in our friendship group. Generally budget $100 for each gift at xmas and between $50 - $70 for birthdays.

    Never go into debt. If you can't afford it, true friends will understand. A pack of 10 nice looking cards says everything an expensive gift can, but about 20c a piece. If you're budgeting tightly, opt in for cheap group events (eg. a BBQ) and skip expensive ones (eg. sky diving).

    Never buy impulsively. If a salesperson tells you face-to-face that you can only get that price now, walk away. It's a ploy to appeal to your emotions rather than logic. I've walked away from good deals that I may have wanted. A few weeks ago I had a sales person spin a story thick and fast about an 80% discount for something I could have used. I simply said "if it's time limited, i'm not interested". After saying the statement 3 times, this person finally understood that I would not be bullied into an impulsive buy.

    Set a fixed amount to spend over the holidays. One total figure to cover lunches, presents and events. Divide that cost by the number of weeks of holiday. Then, stick to it. If you create multiple budgets (gifts, events, etc), you can easily trip yourself up.

    Keep a shopping list of people you want to buy gifts for. If you see a suitable gift at a good price, buy it, regardless of the time of year. This can save you a tidy sum.

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