How to set (and stick to!) a holiday shopping budget
Between your besties, your youth group and your 15 cousins, your gift list is a little longer than you expected. And that's fine...except you only have a limited amount of money saved up from your part-time job. Creating a budget and actually sticking to it isn't as hard, or as boring, as you think. Follow these tips, and then let the holiday shopping begin!
Choose an amount. How much are you willing to spend in total? Once you have a number, look at how many people are on your list and divide it up per person. If things are tight, take a close look at who you are buying gifts and prioritize. You don't have to spend a lot on *everyone*.
Be a bargain hunter. Don't just buy the first thing you see at Target. Often, there are deals, sales and coupons around the holidays so keep your eye out. You can also compare prices—certain stores may offer the same item for a different price.
Don't buy impulsively. Sure, that pom-pom keychain would be perfect for your sis. But you already spent your limit on her. Resist the urge to keep spending (that includes things you want for yourself!) by writing out what you want to get everyone before you hit the stores. Then don't deviate from the plan.
Check and check again. Each time you buy a gift, record it on your list and make sure you are truly sticking to your set amount. If you end up spending more on one person, deduct from another gift. Be aware of how much you're spending as you go. Don't just "set it and forget it".
Remember, it's the thought that counts. It's not a competition on who can buy the most extravagant, amazing gift. Sometimes, a thoughtful DIY present or even a sweet handwritten card can mean more than a fancy gadget. Don't feel like you need to spend a lot to prove your love or appreciation for someone.
How do you budget for holiday shopping? Share your secrets below!