The holidays are here. If you need to stay within a budget, start early.
First, make a list of all the people on your holiday gift list, then see if you can make changes.
Could you give a family gift instead of individual gifts?
Can you go in on a gift with someone else and share the cost?
Would a name draw work for the family party? With a name draw, each person buys only for the person whose name they drew. It’s fun and inexpensive. Do a separate drawing for the children so each child receives one gift and gives one gift. Make sure to set a dollar limit that everyone can afford.
Once your list is complete, set a firm amount for each person and don’t go over. The grand total of all your gifts should be a realistic amount that you can afford. Be honest with yourself.
When shopping, keep your list of people and your budget amounts with you. Check the sales fliers now because holiday sales are already starting. Big retailers are also adding holiday layaway plans. Layaway plans work great if you know your budget. They allow you to make affordable payments without using a credit card.
You could also try giving gifts that don’t cost a lot of money. Service coupons are a wonderful gift. For example, you could cater a meal for a family that has a busy lifestyle. Try an inexpensive but meaningful gift, like a photo CD or memory album. The choices are endless if you take the time to think of what each person might enjoy most.
The most important thing this holiday season is to have fun and enjoy your time together. Create new memories instead of new debts.