It is never too early to start thinking about setting a budget for Christmas shopping. As much as we would like to be able to purchase anything we want for our friends and relatives, it is an unfortunate reality, that many of us have to budget carefully to be able to purchase Christmas gifts for all of our friends and relatives during the holiday season. With this in mind it is very important to set a budget for Christmas shopping and to try to really stick to that budget.
Some people take an interesting approach to setting a budget for Christmas shopping by waiting until they are ready to start shopping to set the actual budget. These individuals usually do this because they are saving specifically for the purpose of Christmas shopping.
Whether they open up a bank account specifically for Christmas shopping, set aside money for this purpose in an envelop each week or plan on using a percentage of their income from the month of November for Christmas shopping it is important to set a budget and determine a plan for purchasing all of your Christmas gifts without exceeding this budget.
Other people take a different approach to setting a budget for Christmas shopping by shopping throughout the year and incorporating their spending for Christmas presents into their monthly budgets. These individuals may allot a portion of their monthly income to gift giving and either purchase the gifts on a monthly basis or simply set aside the money for a Christmas shopping spree at a later date.
Those who spread out the Christmas shopping by doing a little bit of shopping each month not only keep their budget in control but also eliminate a great deal of the stress which often accompanies last minute Christmas shopping.
Still others take a more interesting approach to setting a budget for Christmas shopping. Those who typically receive a financial bonus at work around Christmas time may base their budget on the amount of money they are awarded in this bonus.
This strategy may work out well for some as it does not allow them to alter their normal monthly spending strategy because these bonuses are typically not considered in the regular monthly budgeting. However, unless these bonuses are guaranteed annually, there is some risk involved in this strategy. Often annual bonuses are awarded based on criteria such as the company’s earnings and the individual employee’s contributions to the success of the company.
The company may not enjoy financial success or the contributions of the employee may not be highly valued and therefore there may be either no bonus or a bonus much lower than expected. When this happens, those who count on bonuses for Christmas shopping may find themselves in a difficult situation.
Budgeting for Christmas shopping is particularly important for those who plan to use credit cards to make their purchases. In the case of credit card purchases it might be worthwhile to spread the Christmas shopping out over the entire year and repay the debts associated with the shopping monthly. This will help to prevent carrying a balance and being charged interest on the balance each month.
However, if it is necessary to do all of the Christmas shopping at one time, it is wise to save up during the year for these purchases. Before you begin shopping, evaluate the amount of money you have saved and set a budget for your Christmas shopping.
This way even though you are using a credit card and will receive a large bill the following month, you should have enough money to repay the bill in its entirety and avoid paying interest on the debt.
Even those with the best of intentions may find themselves going over their budget when Christmas shopping. When this happens it is important to keep things in perspective and avoid going too far over budget. You may spend too much on one or two people on your Christmas list but you can recover from this by purchasing less expensive gifts than planned for a few other people to compensate.
Shopping for Yourself While Christmas Shopping
Everyone knows that Christmas is all about giving but most of us are also tempted to shop for ourselves when we are out Christmas shopping for our beloved friends and family members. While some people may be tempted to pass up on purchases for themselves during the holiday season because they feel guilty making these purchases, there are others who feel there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking advantage of the huge sales which take place during the Christmas season to purchase a few items for themselves.
Still others argue that Christmas time is the best time to shop for yourself in terms of finances because you are shopping at a time when most items are on sale. This article will take a look at the concept of shopping for yourself while Christmas shopping and will offer some advice for doing this without distracting from your regular Christmas shopping.
If you do opt to shop for yourself while you are Christmas shopping it is important to remember to keep your budget in mind while you do your shopping. If you do plan on shopping for yourself during the Christmas shopping it is important to budget for these expenditures. Whether you opt to include yourself in the Christmas shopping budget or create a separate budget for your personal shopping, you should make some plan for how you will deal with these additional financial concerns.
One way to do this is to include yourself on your Christmas shopping list and set aside some money for your personal purchases when you are working on your Christmas budget. Another way to deal with the financial concerns is to plan on paying for gifts for everyone else on your Christmas list in cash and to make your purchases for yourself on a credit card. This is helpful because it does not reduce the amount of money you would otherwise spend on your friends and family members.
Another problem which often arises when you opt to shop for yourself when you are doing your regular Christmas shopping is that you may become distracted and not complete your Christmas shopping on time. Consider purchasing a sweater for your sister. You may look through the racks of sweaters and quickly choose one in a color, style and size you think will be appropriate for your sister.
You might spend some time looking at the different colors and styles and trying to decide which size will fit best but in general it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to select a sweater and make your purchase. Now consider purchasing a sweater for yourself during the Christmas season. You may select several different styles you like in one or two sizes and a few different colors.
You can take the items to the dressing room and try on each one to determine which style, color and size you like best. You might even try the sweaters on with a few different styles of pants or skirts which you think will match well. It is easy to see from this comparison how a shopper can easily spend a half hour to an hour buying a sweater for themselves and less than ten minutes purchasing the same sweater for someone else.
It is also easy to see from this example how shopping for yourself while doing your Christmas shopping can prevent you from completing your shopping in a timely manner. For this reason it is wise to leave your personal shopping until after you have completed all of your Christmas shopping.
Making a List for Christmas Shopping
“He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice.” This may be a line from one of the most recognized Christmas carol. Almost everyone who celebrates Christmas knows all about Santa’s good list as well as his naughty list and most people do their best to avoid being placed on Santa’s naughty list. While the concept of Santa’s good list and naughty list is a fun way to convince children to be on their best behavior during the Christmas season, the concept of a list should one that all Christmas shoppers adhere to while they are doing their Christmas shopping.
In fact Christmas shopping should be filled with all sorts of lists. You can create lists of everyone you plan to give gifts to this year, lists of potential gift ideas and even lists of the actual gifts you select. All of this list making may sound tedious but this article will explain how all of these lists can be very helpful.
Making a list of everyone you plan to give a Christmas gift to should be the first step in any Christmas shopping expedition. This list is so important because it gives you a handy reference to all the people you should keep in mind while you are shopping and also gives you an indication of the total number of people on your Christmas list.
Knowing how many people are on your list is important for setting a budget. Consider how much money you have to spend and divide this amount by the number of people on your list and this will give you an idea of how much you can spend on each person on your Christmas list.
After you make this list and set your budget, it is a good idea to make another list of potential gift ideas for each person on your Christmas gift list. It is a good idea to brainstorm and try to come up with a few good gift ideas for each person on your list. This is helpful because when you are out Christmas shopping you know where to start your search and will have a few choices if you are having difficulty finding one of the items on your list of suggestions.
You may find items which are not on your list but are perfect for the person you are shopping for and it is acceptable to buy these items. It is important to remember your list of suggestions is just a starting point and if you find a more appropriate gift that is not on your list it is a good idea to purchase this gift instead.
When Christmas shopping you should also keep a list of the items you actually purchase as Christmas gifts for those on your list. This is a good idea because if you have a particularly long list, you may have difficulty remembering all the items you already bought.
Keeping an updated list of whom you have already purchased Christmas gifts for and what you bought them will minimize this problem. This list also comes in handy when it is time to start wrapping all the Christmas gifts you purchased.
You may have a closet full of gifts but you may have trouble remembers which gift goes to which recipient. However, if you kept an accurate list as you made your purchases this should not be a problem.
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