Make Your Christmas Debt-Free
7 Simple Tips to create a christmas budget that works
Take Charge Of Your Christmas Spending Habits
The real point of giving a gift is to show someone that is seen, loved, appreciated and valued for who they really are. It’s the thought that counts not the price tag. So if someone expects you to give them expensive gifts maybe you should rethink carefully your relationship with that particular person.
Giving a gift should be an act of pure altruism that creates beautiful memories and makes you genuinely happy about the whole situation. It should never be a form of a bizarre and completely senseless competition that leads to unnecessarily high levels of stress and anxiety or even debt. Buying expensive gifts does not mean that you love someone more and definitely, will not make the other person care about you more, at least not in an honest way. Besides, there is nothing good about starting the New Year with Christmas debt. So before you go on your Christmas shopping rethink your gift ideas, set an effective budget, create a specific spending plan and take charge of your spending habits. Be a hyper-organized and mindful Christmas shopper, not a mindless consumer trying to impress others with how much money you’ve spent on Christmas presents. Make your holidays meaningful, enjoyable, affordable and beautiful. Spend time NOT money on those who you love and care about.
Christmas Mindful Money Management
Mindful money management requires budgeting, planning, and organizing. It is by bringing together these three elements that you can manage your money mindfully at Christmas making your holidays affordable and STILL enjoyable.
1. Set Up an Effective Christmas Gift Budget
I fully agree that being spontaneous is a great ability that enables us to make the most of every situation we face in life while planning out every detail to the nth degree can be quite boring, monotonous or even counterproductive. A little chaos DOES make life more interesting, exciting and fun BUT not when it comes to making wise financial decisions, staying out of debt and making thoughtful shopping. But hey, it doesn’t mean that creating a Christmas budget and shopping for Christmas gifts for your loved ones has to be a bloody nightmare.
But if you want your Christmas to be a joyful time free from pressure, debt and questionable financial decisions you need to set up an effective Christmas budget and stick to it. You need to take control over your finances, be more organized with your money and take charge of your spending habits so that you will make your Christmas affordable and STILL enjoyable! Trust me, this is your (and MINE) recipe for success!
Besides, making an effective Christmas budget will help you to avoid mindless shopping and overindulgence, of which there is plenty during the Christmas shopping season.
- Determine how much you can afford this Christmas
- Determine how much extra money you want to save (or you wish you could save)
- Determine how many presents you want to buy
- Add to your budget all the incidentals such as Christmas food, decorating, wrapping paper, gift boxes, Christmas cards, party supplies, etc.
- Decide what you want to buy for each person from your gift-giving list
- Plan and create your Christmas budget
- Put a price tag on every Christmas present you want to buy
- Resist the temptation to buy everything you like
- Stick to your budget
2. Make SMART Christmas Gift List
Even if you are the most altruistic person on Planet Earth you probably not planning to give a present to every single person you’ve met throughout your life right? So, take some time, rethink your relationships and decide who you want to give a Christmas present this year and create a gift-giving list. If you have a tight budget make sure that your gift-giving list includes only the most important people in your life. Being able to give even a small gift to every nice person you know to let them know that you appreciate them would be great but for most people, it’s just undoable. So create a gift-giving list that includes only the most important people in your life Remember that you can always give a handmade Christmas card or homemade treats to other people you want to give gifts to but you cannot afford to buy them a present. (For my own part, I love to receive handmade gifts and healthy treats and I know lots of people who would be more than happy to receive these kinds of presents!) So don’t worry, be mindful!
- Make your gift-giving list that include all the people you want to buy a Christmas present
- Determine what you want to buy for each person from your list
- Focus on personalized and meaningful Christmas gits (spend money on something you know they will like)
- Remember that it is a THOUGHT that counts NOT the price tag.
3. Create An Effective Christmas Shopping Plan
Well, let’s face it. An effective Christmas shopping requires a well-thought-out strategy. Because if you’re not organized you are disorganized. If you’re not prepared you’re just wasting your time. And if you’re not spending your money wisely you’re making mindless and most probably needless purchases. That is why you need to create an effective shopping plan that will help you to buy the presents you want within a short time while sticking to your budget!
So look at the Christmas budget and gift-giving list you’ve already made and plan where and when you will buy all the presents. (Be detailed with your shopping plan!) If you want to buy your Christmas presents online don’t forget about an incredible opportunity to get some great and heavily discounted products available during Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Free Shipping Day Sales!
Save The Date
4. Save Extra Money On Presents
Christmas shopping is not a competition. It’s not about spending money to impress people but about an enjoyable and fun way of saying “Thank you” (Don’t forget that saying thank-you is STILL the best gift of gratitude you can give to show someone you’re thankful for them).
Anyways, Christmas is supposed to be a joyful time free from stress, pressure, and debt so be mindful and stick to your budget during your Christmas shopping. Don’t fall into the trap of competitive gift-giving that will drain you mentally and financially. Make some cuts if needed, choose less expensive options, use discount codes and shop on sales.
Christmas shopping and gift-giving can easily get out of hand so be careful during your Christmas present hunt!
Remember that the real point of giving a gift to someone is to show them we’re thankful for them not to impress them with the amount of money we spend on them.
Simplicity is the key.
Minimalism is a happier way of living.
- Adopt a Minimalist mindset (less is more)
- Make some cuts
- Save extra money on all your presents (buy Christmas presents on sales, look for offers and deals)
- Use cashback and loyalty credit cards to save on your Christmas spend.
5. Shop By Yourself & Pay With Cash
Who carries around cash nowadays? Well, the simple answer is, those who want to avoid mindless shopping and overspending.
Cash is STILL King!
Of course, I’m not saying that you should pay for everything by cash and get rid of your credit cards ASAP. Because that would be incredibly inconvenient and a bit irresponsible, especially if you mostly shop online or plan an expensive purchase. But we’re talking here about making a carefully calculated Christmas budget that works. It’s too easy to lose track of how much you have to spend if you pay for your Christmas shopping by card. Not to mention saving some extra money. But if you plan to make most of your Christmas shopping purchase online during the Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales go for it! But remember to track carefully all your expenses using expense tracker Apps.
But if you prefer to go outside and hunt for best Christmas offers in a city you live you can pull money out of an ATM and pay for your purchases by cash. Or you can use a mix of both. Regardless of what type of payment you choose for your Christmas shopping, remember to keep track of how much you spend and stick to your budget.
- Switch to “mindful spending” mode
- Shop your Christmas presents by yourself to have more control over your spendings and purchase decision process
- Stick to your Christmas gift list
- Hold on to your receipts
- Remember that cash-only budgeting system makes it easiest to track your spendings
6. Use Holiday Budgeting Apps
Holiday Budgeting Apps will help you to budget, plan, organize and schedule your Christmas shopping.
Best FREE Apps for Christmas Shopping
- Red Laser Barcode Scanner + QR Reader (iOS / Android)
- ShopSavvy – Barcode Scanner and Price Comparison (iOS / Android)
- CouponCabin – easy-to-use coupon & cashback app (iOS / Android)
- Santa’s Bag – Christmas Gift List & Budget (iOS)
- Christmas Gifts and Budget (Android)
- Xmas Gifts List (Android)
- Christmas Gift List – Track Xmas gift ideas (Android
- Giftster – wish list registry (iOS /Android)
- GiftPlanner – Christmas Gift List Organizer (iOS
- Discount Calculator – Price Comparison & Sales Tax $ (iOS / Android)
- Gilt – Shop Designer Sales (iOS / Android)
- Amazon (iOS / Android)
Best Financial Apps
- Mint (link) – saving and budgeting app
- Acorns (link) – saving and budgeting app
- PocketGuard (link) – extra money spending app
- You Need a Budget (link) – create a budget within your actual income
- Prism Bills&Money (link) – organizing and paying bills app
- Albert (link) – saving, budgeting and paying a debt app
- Travel Wallet (link) – travel budget and expense app
- Wally (link) – professional expense report app
- Tycoon (link) – Freelancers app
- SnipSnap (link) – digital coupon app
- ShopKick (link) – rewards for shopping online and in-store app
- GroceryIQ (link) – intuitive shopping list app
- Bill Watch (link) – managing, organizing and reminding bills payment app
- Venmo (link) – splitting bills and sharing transactions app
- Personal Capital (link)– investment optimization app
6. Alternative Gifts
Don’t forget about Alternative Christmas gift options and shared experiences you can give your loved ones to make them extremely happy, surprised and amazed. If you need some inspiration, here are my ideas:
- DIY gifts – aka make easy, inexpensive, personalized and pretty homemade Christmas gifts
- Give vouchers to use in the sales
- Make Christmas Cards with a thank you note (Use Canva!)
- Make homemade healthy cookies and chocolates for those who have a serious sweet tooth and salted caramel treats for those who prefer less sweet desserts
- Make a Christmas dinner for your close family and friends.
- Host a Movie Night Party with melted marshmallow hot chocolate and strawberry cheesecake.
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And Make Your Christmas Affordable, Enjoyable and Memorable