Prior to this year I had no idea that there was an official day to plan out Christmas shopping. But lo and behold, there is!
Shopping reminder day always falls on November 26th, which happens to be Thanksgiving Day this year.
In honor of shopping reminder day I’ve rounded up my methods for keeping Christmas spending in check plus a free Christmas budget printable so you can plan ahead.
Make a List with Names and Budget Amounts
The number one thing you can do to keep your Christmas budget in check is to make a list of everyone you have to buy for along with a budget for each person.
One thing that I personally like to do is write out the name of each and every person I shop for and brainstorm a few ideas within the budget amount I have to spend. If you do this early on, instead of waiting last minute, you’ll be able to look for good deals and possibly spend much less than the amount you’ve budgeted for.
Keep Expectations in Check
It’s important to keep expectations in check, especially if you have kids. If you don’t have much money to spend on Christmas this year, go ahead and talk to your kids about it. Keep their expectations in check so that they know what to expect Christmas morning. If your kids are anything like mine they’ll forget about presents the day after Christmas.
Focus on creating memories instead. (Which can be done for free!)
Likewise, if you’re looking to make your Christmas budget go further but normally purchase gifts for adults have a talk and see if you can skip buying gifts for each other this year. My family stopped purchasing gifts for adults a couple years ago (except for one secret Santa) and it brought a lot of relief to everyone involved.
Start Shopping as Early As Possible
Once you have your list together start shopping as early as possible. This will give you the best chance at finding good deals.
Some sites I like to use to find good deals are:
- Hip2Save.com (A good blog to find both online and offline deals.)
- Discover Deals (Lots of cashback deals.)
- Shop at Home or Retail Me Not (To find coupon codes.)
Just remember to only buy the things that match the person and budget amount on your list. Buying a good deal just because it’s a good deal doesn’t actually save you money. Only buy what you already have planned out and stick to your designated budget amounts.
Save for Next Year
After Christmas is over start saving for next year. If you put $10/week in a savings account you’ll have over $500 to spend.
A little planning in advance can save you a whole lot of stress once the holiday season rolls around again.
Another option is to have a specific earning strategy for Christmas next year. For instance, I normally put my Swagbucks and Inbox Dollars money toward Christmas which adds up to several hundred dollars per year with fairly minimal effort.
From October through December, Discover cardmembers are eligible to receive 5% Cashback Bonus® on up to $1,500 in combined purchases through Amazon.com, at department stores and clothing stores, when they sign-up. This would allow you to earn Cashback Bonus on a number of gifts, and you can use that money towards next year’s presents as well!
Free Christmas Budget Printable
Keeping a written Christmas budget has always helped me keep my spending where it needs to be. Here’s a copy of the Christmas budget printable I’m using this year. Feel free to download and print this out if you think it will help you too!
A big thanks to Discover for sponsoring this post. All opinions are mine.