Tis the Season of overspending and gifting things out of our budget! Who has gone overboard with the spending during the holidays? I’d bet 9/10 of us have at some point. I’m NEVER an advocate for overspending and getting into debt. Today I’m sharing holiday budgeting tips plus how to not overspend and still afford thoughtful gifts for your friends and family!
Why I’m Writing This Post
As much as I love the holidays, there’s a TON of social pressure to gift anything and everything under the sun! Plus, being a great gifter feels really good. I love giving gifts to people, as well as receiving them. However, it is NEVER worth going into a black hole of debt to gift everything you can’t afford. The bottom line is, debt is stressful. Not to mention debt is completely unnecessary! Why go out of your way for someone to please them with a gift when you are going to suffer later. DO NOT DO IT! Budget your way through the holidays and I promise everyone will still be happy (and if they’re not, reevaluate those relationships!!).
I’m writing this post, because despite being an “influencer,” I am not an advocate for overspending. I’ve seen how debt can impact people. It’s stressful, it’s ugly, and it causes heartache. I’d much rather you buy something you saw me share that you can afford and feel good about, rather than having buyers remorse for spending money you don’t have. I care more about YOU than a few bucks commission in my pocket and a whole lotta heartache on your end.
How I Made This List
If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories, I asked my followers to please share their best tips for Holiday budgeting. I compiled their tips along with several of my own to create the budgeting tips below.
The Best Holiday Budgeting Tips
Set a strict budget before shopping for gifts
By setting an overall budget, you know exactly what you’re willing to spend out of pocket total.
Once you set your budget, decide exactly what you want to spend on each person.
Not all friends and family have to get a gift that cost the same thing! I spend more on my husband than anyone else, and my sister and I have an agreement to not spend on gifts for each other. That’s ok to do too!!
Split gifts for family/friends with someone.
Jesse (my husband) and I almost always go in on gifts for his parents with his brother! We can get them a better gift and each spend a little less than what we would if we bought that item individually. My in laws always seem happy with their gifts and we don’t go over budget!
If you don’t have money to spend, don’t put it on a credit card!
This is my NUMBER 1 budgeting tip! DO NOT spend money you don’t have! The interest rate on some credit cards is almost 26%!! Think of it this way, if you spend $100 on a gift for someone, and can’t pay the credit card bill that month, it’s a $126 gift the following month, and then even higher the following! Not to mention, it hurts your credit. Cut up those credit cards and stick to cash or debit cards.
Write It Down
Once you start holiday shopping, make a list!. Write everything down and document when you buy the gift, how much you spent, and money you have left over in your overall budget. This will prevent you from going over your total allotted budget. Then if you spend a little bit more on one person, you can drop someone else’s budget down a bit.
Less “filler” gifts (little value items) and more intentional gifts
I love this tip! Rather than gifting several small gifts, just go with one really thoughtful one!
Do a gift exchange
This is genius! Whoever sent me this tip is spot on. Don’t send all 10 of your cousins a $25 gift, just go in on a family or friends gift exchange! That way everyone can get a higher budget and better gifts. You can even set the budget so everyone spends the same thing on one person, and everyone is happy!
Shop for quirky gifts at second hand shops like Goodwill
My sister actually sent me this tip! She said her husband does this, and it always makes people laugh. There’s nothing better than putting a smile on someone’s face during the holidays! Have fun, shop fun budget friendly gifts.
I agree with this tip! This is the best time of the year to shop the deals. Stick to your budget, but look up the sales happening all over. You can probably gift some bigger ticket items that are on sale, while sticking to your budget!
Other Budgeting Resources
Aside from the tips you generously provided on Instagram, there’s also some other amazing budgeting resources!
I read Dave Ramsey’s book Total Money Makeover (shop it HERE) and I joined his Facebook Group (HERE). There’s some amazing comment threads on there, with tons of encouragement and tips from people all over the world! I’m incredibly glad I joined the group. I honestly don’t participate, but reading the threads helps give me ideas for budgeting and saving. There’s some people who went from tons of debt to millionaires! Their tips and stories are incredible.
Personally, I’ve tried MANY apps and they all overwhelm me, except for Mint. First and foremost, the app is safe! Second, it links ALL of your bank accounts and credit cards, so you can actually see how you’re doing financially. It also alerts you when you get paid and when the month ends shows you where you’re spending your money. I highly recommend Mint.
Weekly Budget Planner
If you’re like me and do well with notes, grab a weekly budget planner! This could be helpful. I found two under $15.
I’ve put together some affordable gift ideas under $25 to help you stay on budget. You can click the image to shop. I’ve personally gifted several of the items in both gift guides below, and they’re always a win! I hope this helps you stay on track for the rest of 2020!