INSIDE: Welcome to Day 4 of the 30 Days to a Stress-Free Christmas Challenge! Find it hard figuring out what funds you have available for Christmas? This challenge is for you! I’m going to show you how to nail that Christmas budget – the easy way. Let’s dive in!
Have you ever overspent at Christmas?
You’re not alone!
We’ve all been there. Including me! It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of Christmas, to start buying new decorations, delicious festive treats and waaaay too many gifts before we’ve thought about how much money we have (or want!) to spend.
And even if we have set a holiday budget, sticking to it is no easy task. Not overspending at Christmas is HARD! It takes a lot of discipline to stay on track. To not be tempted by all the shiny things. To resist the urge to buy that one more garland or one more stocking filler that would make Christmas perfect.
Resisting the urge…
But the reality is that we don’t need to spend a fortune at Christmas for it to be ‘perfect‘. And if don’t set a budget, if don’t track our spending, things can (and will!) very quickly spiral out of control. Before we know it, we’ve overspent and we’re heading into January with an empty wallet.
Staying on track…
If you don’t want the first few months of the new year to be all about clearing Christmas debt, you HAVE to set a budget. And so, that’s what today’s challenge is all about! By the end of this challenge, not only will you have set your Christmas budget but you’ll know exactly how to stay within it too.
So, are you ready to set your Christmas budget? It’s easier than you might think. Let’s do this!
Challenge #4: Write out your Christmas budget…
Today I want you to take a few minutes to write out your Christmas budget. You don’t have to spend long on it, but I do want you to think about how much you’re prepared to spend on each person. How much you want and need to spend on food and on decorations. And how much you’re prepared to spend on Christmas-related activities.
If you can, set an upper spending limit and to make a promise to yourself that you’ll do your best to stick to it.
Figuring out how much you have for your Christmas budget…
Not sure where to start on figuring out your Christmas budget? First, you need to know how much you already spend each month.
What are your monthly outgoings and where can you temporarily cut back if needed? Not sure? My post How to Find Out What You Need to Budget Each Month has a step-by-step guide and a free printable to help you do this – so be sure to download a copy.
Next, take a look at how long you have left until Christmas. How many weeks are there to go and how many paydays do you have left? Knowing what your regular monthly outgoings are, what can you save between now and then?
Knowing how much you’re prepared to spend…
You’ve spent the last couple of days thinking about what you want to do for Christmas and the gifts you want to buy, so you should have a pretty good idea of what you need to get and how much it’s going to cost. Use this to help you figure out roughly how much everything is going to cost. Then, if it’s more than you have funds for (or can save for between now and Christmas), see where you can cut back so that you don’t go over budget.
Here are a few ways to manage Christmas on a budget:
- Set a maximum amount to spend on each person.
- Agree with family and friends that you’ll buy for the kids only.
- Reduce the number of presents you buy everyone.
- Follow the four gifts strategy of “something to wear, something to read, something they want and something they need“.
- Buy used instead of new.
- Re-purpose the decorations you already have.
- Find free festive activities to do with your kids.
- Ask those coming for Christmas dinner to bring a dish too.
- Look at your monthly expenses and see where you can temporarily cut back.
Need a little help?
Check out these posts from some of my fellow bloggers for some great tips on how to not only find and save money this Christmas but make that Christmas budget stretch as far as possible too:
- 10 Dave Ramsey Money Saving Tips for Christmas from Chasing Foxes.
- How to Budget for the Holidays from The Busy Budgeter.
- How to Avoid Going Broke in January from The Humble Penny.
- How to Save Money for Christmas from The Curious Frugal.
- 6 Tips and Tricks for Christmas on a Budget from The Mommy Mix
- 30+ Tips and Ideas to Save Money at Christmas Time from Productive Pete
Keeping within your Christmas budget…
Congratulations! You’ve just created your Christmas budget! But it doesn’t stop there. If you want to keep that Christmas spending in check, you need to track your spending too. Your Christmas budget is of no use to you if you don’t keep track of what you’re spending. Imagine how frustrated you’ll feel if you took the time to create a holiday budget only to ignore it, overspend and be in the red come January. It’d be enough to make you cry!
And so, as soon as you start shopping, be sure to track your spending too. Not only will it help you to see when you start getting close to your limit, you’ll also be able to make adjustments BEFORE it’s too late. Set aside time each week to check in on your Christmas budget. Look at what you’ve already bought and spent and what you have left to buy and spend so that you can tweak things if needed.
Tracking your spending might seem like a lot of hard work but it’s not. It can be done in as little as 30 minutes once a week. Set aside the time to do it and you’ll be so glad you did. Head into the new year knowing you only spent what you’d allocated (and maybe even less!) and there’ll be no buyers remorse. There’ll be no giant overdraft or credit card bill to worry about either!
Want help creating your Christmas budget?
You’ll find a Budget Planning Sheet and Spending Tracker printable to download and print plus lots of other Christmas planning-related printables inside the 30 Days to a Stress-Free Christmas eBook that accompanies this series. Get your copy here.
That’s it for today!
I’ll be back tomorrow with challenge #5 of 30 Days to a Stress-Free Christmas challenge. In the meantime, good luck working out your Christmas budget! And if you need a little help putting your holiday budget together, just shout...I’m here for you! And don’t forget to check out the rest of the posts in this challenge if you haven’t done so already!
- Day 1: Let’s Get Your Christmas Planning Started!
- Day 2: What Gifts to Buy?
- Day 3: Get Organised for Christmas.
That’s it for this post! Do you have a Christmas budget? Has this challenge encouraged you to create one? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time…
P.S. Get all of the Christmas challenges by email!
Want a little more accountability? Don’t forget that you can sign up to receive each challenge by email! Every day for the next 30 days I’ll land in your inbox with the next Christmas challenge. A great way to remind you to take action, you’ll also receive my FREE Ultimate Christmas Planning Checklist too!
In it, you’ll find checklists for your Christmas budget, Christmas shopping, meal planning and prepping, family traditions, planning your travel and so much more. With every Christmas planning step you can possibly think of listed, no stone will be left unturned and nothing will be forgotten!
Simply enter your email address below and I’ll send it to you right away along with the first challenge!