The 12 frugal weeks before Christmas begin with planning. We all know how easy it is to go out and spend, spend, spend. When we don’t have a plan, we can easily get off track.
I remember a year, when my daughter was about 4, Big and I decided on a budget and had promised each other we would stick to it. My daughter was a big fan of Barbie at the time and we thought that a few Barbies and Barbie themed gifts would be appropriate. We didn’t have a strong idea of what we were shopping for and we didn’t really know which Barbie dolls would be the best. Needless to say, we went way over board. It is still known as the “Year of Barbie” in our house. Funny thing is, they all look the same when they have no clothes on and that is usually how they were.
Here are my tips on planning for a frugal Christmas:
1.) Carve out time to sit down and have a discussion with your other half. If you are single, find a quiet time to think about your priorities. Use a planner to help you with the task.
2.) Look at your finances and decide a realistic budget.
3.) Once you have the dollar amount you are able to spend, begin to put it in categories.
- Gifts for loved ones
- Gift for bosses/neighbors/teachers
- Cards, wrapping paper, Christmas Tree, decorations
- Do you plan on hosting the dinner? What will that cost?
- Will you have company?
- Do you plan on traveling?
For me, the most important thing on this list is to have a discussion with your husband/wife about how much you can and want to spend. It can be a difficult discussion. It is a necessary discussion though.
Trust me, there have be some arguments in this house over how much money should be spent at the holidays in this house. Remember, the most important thing about the holidays is family. You will not be able to relax and enjoy your family and friends if you are worrying about how you will pay the next bill.
A final tip – don’t just have one discussion about your Christmas budget. Have at least 2 or three before Christmas. Talk about the budget before you go shopping. Talk about your budget after you go shopping. Talk, talk, talk. You can be successful.
Make sure you come back next week and read about saving on Christmas cards. You won’t want to miss it.