One of the best things about the holiday season is being able to give your loved ones and friends gifts that they truly appreciate. The downside is that it’s easy to spend more money than you planned during the holidays. Find out how to stay within your budget this season, so you don’t end up going broke. 

Figure Out Your Holiday Budget

Knowing how much you can comfortably afford to spend on presents this season helps prevent you from overspending. Look at your finances, then figure out how much you’ll be able to spend on gifts this year. Make sure you leave room in your budget for your usual expenses and other holiday expenses, such as shipping costs or food for holiday feasts. Doing this makes it less likely that you’ll run out of money or have to use credit cards to cover expenses or holiday gifts.

Make a List

Having a list of people you need to buy gifts for makes it easier to stay organized while shopping. Print out your list or have it on your phone, so you can refer to it while shopping. Don’t forget to include co-workers, teachers, pets and anyone else you plan on purchasing gifts for. When you have your list done, go through it and decide how much to spend on each recipient. Write down an amount, then add up the total to make sure it’s within your holiday budget. If not, you’ll need to make some adjustments, that way you’re still within your spending limit.

As you go through the holidays doing your shopping, keep close track of the amount of money you’re spending for each gift item. Hold onto receipts and compare the amounts to your list. Cross recipients off your list as you finish their shopping, so you won’t be tempted to buy just one more item for them.

Keep Track of Spending

As you go through the holidays doing your shopping, keep close track of the amount of money you’re spending for each gift item. Hold onto receipts and compare the amounts to your list. Cross recipients off your list as you finish their shopping, so you won’t be tempted to buy just one more item for them. If you do end up spending more than you planned on someone, adjust your budget so you’ll still fall within your budget overall. You might have to spend a bit less on a few other recipients to make up for it, so look for sales that help you get what you want for less money.

Get Creative

Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to purchase gifts for those on your list. Instead, consider making some homemade gifts for a few of the people on your list, which will help you save money. This depends on your creative skills, but you might consider making holiday crafts or baked goods for friends and family. They’ll appreciate the amount of time you put into making these gifts, and you won’t have to worry as much about staying within your budget.

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