The last thing anyone wants is to feel stressed out and financially overwhelmed during the holidays. It’s a time of joy and cheer, and when you have a plan in place for your holiday spending, it brings the season to a whole new level of enjoyment. We’ve put together a list of four easy ways to shop on a budget for Christmas this year so you can truly enjoy this season.
#1 Pick Your Budget
This can be the hardest part of the process. Without taking money out of the same pocket you use to pay your regular bills, you need to determine how much extra cash – if any – you have. If you can forgo little extras like trips to your favorite coffee shop or manicures at the nail salon, that will help add to your stash. You could also consider working an extra shift or two or sell your gently used items that you don’t use anymore online on buy/sell/trade pages for some bonus holiday spending money.
#2 Add Simplicity with the 4-Gift Rule
With your budget in place, the 4-gift rule can definitely help make sure you don’t overspend or end up with much more than you anticipated. This rule is perfect if you have children because you know everyone will get the same amount of items, and they’ll get a great mixture of gifts, too! The 4-gift rule looks like this:
- Something they want
- Something they need
- Something to wear
- Something to read
#3 Window Shop Before You Buy
Whether your window shopping happens at a brick-and-mortar store or a shop online, browsing before you buy allows you to know what prices are so you can better allocate your budget and really know how your spending is going to look when all is said and done. Also – this allows for comparison shopping! What might be stepping just outside your budget at one store could be found cheaper elsewhere and leave more breathing room for your pocketbook.
#4 Write Your List Down & Don’t Buy Anything Else!
One of the most important factors in sticking to a budget is to make sure you don’t buy extras. The same goes whether your budget is for your monthly expenses or Christmas gift giving. At this point, your comparison shopping will already be done, so make sure you include these items on your list:
- What you plan to buy
- Where you plan to buy it
- How much it is
As long as you stick to this method, you’ll be able to shop on a budget for Christmas and stay within that budget. And when you have a list, you don’t have to worry and wonder anymore about what to get! You’re less likely to get distracted by other items in the store that aren’t on your list. And you’re able to shop stress-free since you have a solid plan in place before you ever leave your house.
Don’t want to carry cash with all the hustle and bustle of the season but still need a secure way to have access to your funds without charging purchases on a credit card? We’ve got you covered! Our prepaid debit cards allow for a safe and easy way to purchase your gifts, and they come with no minimum balance or interest rates.