Did you know that 42% of Canadians don’t have a budget for Christmas? CPA Canada’s study says most of us PLAN to spend less but only about half will actually budget. Hmmmmm. On the flip side, 1 in 5 admit they’re gonna blow whatever budget they didn’t create . In response to that, I’ve created your Christmas budget cheat sheet!
Now, if you’re celebrating the Holidays, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or a really expensive Wendesday, that’s great too! Use this cheat sheet as you see fit.
Christmas is busy and budgeting isn’t fun. But, and especially if lowering stress and self-care is going to be a New Year’s Resolution, it’s a necessity.
What can you do about it? Well, I’m glad you asked! 😉
Scroll to the BOTTOM of the page and grab a worksheet freebie!
When it comes to budgeting, making a plan is the best route! There are 10 tips in your Christmas budget cheat sheet. You’ll find a few of them have helpful links – be sure to click on those!
Grab your freebie below!
1. Think back to last year:
How much did you spend? Did it seem worth it?
2. Pick a number:
BEFORE you get to the store, decide how much you’ll spend on each person and keep track of that number.
3. Shop for deals:
We all have a little computer stashed in our pocket (your smart phone!). Before you hand your card over, do a quick search online and see if another store has a sale on that item.
4. Send an e-card:
If you like to send a Holiday card each year, why not send an e-card? It’s MUCH cheaper (FREE most often) and so much better for the environment.
5. Know why you’re giving the gift:
Think of that one person (or group of people) that you “have to buy a gift for.” Just in case you need it, here’s your permission to NOT buy them anything. It doesn’t make you cheap or a scrooge. You’re not obliged to buy Christmas presents! That’s an idea that’s been SOLD to you.
6. How many leftovers do you want?:
In our family, we joke about ‘pawning off’ the leftovers so the cook doesn’t have to eat half a turkey 😆 But think about how silly that is! If you find you have a tonne of leftovers each year, try cooking a little less. Now that’s a win-win! Another option is that, after dinner, you bring a warm tupperware and a fork downtown for a homeless neighbour.
7. Pick a name:
The last few years, our family has been drawing names using this program. (not an affiliate link) It’s made Christmas so much easier! We each pick one name and have a spending limit. It’s really helped our budget and we all leave with things we actually wanted; no ‘filler presents’.
8. Try a more needs based approach to buying for kids:
One thing they want, one thing they need, one thing to wear, one thing to read, and one thing for the family.
9. Limit your decor:
I have a deal with myself to not get more than the 1 bin I have for Christmas decorations (not including the tree). Now, that might be unrealistic to you, especially if you have kids. Maybe it’s 3 or 4 bins. Whatever it is, limit yourself to what fits in the space you’ve allowed. Remember, you’re paying for those items, the bin, AND the storage space they’re in – think storage lockers and extra sqft in your home. If you find a piece you LOVE, something else has to go!
10. Don’t be afraid of change:
I’m a huge fan of traditions. Especially holiday traditions! But if they’re not serving you anymore, consider making a change. For example, if you always open a few presents on Christmas Eve (which means you have to buy ‘enough’ for Christmas Day too), try switching it up! A family game and a movie might be even more memorable.
I hope these Christmas budget tips come in handy this season!
Remember, when the lights are taken down, the credit card still has to be paid! It’s worth planning a little now to save yourself from money stress in the New Year.
What’s YOUR favorite tradition during the Holidays? Comment below!
Download Link: Your Christmas Budget Cheat Sheet
P.S. Have you heard of ‘conscious consumerism”? I’d encourage you to look into that. Check out this video on the social responsibility.