Work from a Budget
Make a list of everyone you plan to give holiday gifts to this year with an estimate of what you want to spend. Add a small buffer for unexpected gifts for people you forgot to include, or for people who unexpectedly gave you a gift and you feel you must reciprocate. A gift card or homemade Christmas baking works well for these situations.
Research Ahead of Time
Spend some time getting gift ideas for everyone on your list. Once you have an idea of what you’re going buy, comparison shop on-line.
It’s easy to overspend when you’re charging purchases to your credit card. When the money is coming right out of your bank account, you’re more likely to spend less.
Organize Your Shopping Time
The easiest way to stick to your Christmas gift budget is to block out a couple of specific times to shop and complete it during those times. Browsing leads to overbuying. If you plan to shop online, make that one of your designated shopping sessions.
Don’t Get Sucked in by a Sale
That foot massager may be a great price, but does it fit your budget? Does anyone on your list want a foot massager? If not, leave the “bargain” behind.
Don’t Buy for Yourself
It’s easy to see things you would like, while you’re out buying gifts for others. Even if it’s something you need, ignore it. Your bank account will be in better shape if you don’t give in to temptation.
Track Your Spending
When you see the numbers adding up, you’re less likely to overspend. Your log can be compared to your budget to ensure that you’re sticking to your plan.
Shop All Year
Shopping under pressure leads to overspending. Keep your eyes open all year round for sale items that will work for your gift requirements. If you shop early, you’ll save money and feel less stressed as the holidays approach.
Use eBay and Craigslist
Often you can find brand-new merchandise at bargain prices.