It may be months away until Christmas, but for big families the buying and budgeting can start months early. You may say to yourself that you won’t spend as much this year, and yet, find yourself spending more than you can afford every year anyway. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to put a smile on a loved one’s face, but you don’t want to get into debt doing it. So, if you’ve already started thinking about Christmas, here’s what you need to do to stay on budget.
You don’t have to burden yourself by buying for everyone. If there are lots of kids in your family, focus on them first and foremost. Many families have a deal where the adults only buy for each other’s children to keep the cost down. Suggest it to your family and you may find that they’re relieved. It will also save you the weeks’ worth of suggestions you give to your husband about presents for the in-laws, only to settle on something on Christmas Eve.
Spread the Cost
If you’re already thinking about Christmas, it’s likely that you already know you need to spread the cost. However, many people with big families start buying gifts and storing them away months in advance. By the time you get to Christmas, your children want completely different gifts or you forget what you’ve bought and end up spending more than you need to. Instead of buying gifts early, put the money aside. As Christmas arrives, you’ll have a dedicated budget for gifts which means you’re less likely to over spend and more likely to get the gifts your children want at the time.
Freebies and Bargains
Although it’s not a good idea to buy too much throughout the year, there may be times when a bargain pops up that you shouldn’t miss out on. Keep an eye out for sales that might save you a lot of money in the long run. For example, Disney often have offers on their DVDs towards the end of the year. You can also get items for free on Amazon. Take a look here – www.surveyssay.com/get-free-stuff-on-amazon/. You can get free items in exchange for leaving genuine reviews.
Handmade gifts often have more meaning than shop bought gifts. There are many things you can get the kids involved in when it comes to making gifts for family. For example, why not have the children make their grandparents new ornaments for the Christmas tree. You can also make your own chocolates or cookies and gift wrap them for neighbours or co-workers. Buying the ingredients won’t cost much and you can usually make them in big batches, so you have enough for a few different gifts. You can find a great recipe here – https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/dishes/cookie-recipes/christmas-cookies.
Secret Santa is the ideal way to ensure you don’t spend over your budget. Put everyone’s name in a hat and each person chooses one name. Decide on a spending limit and then everyone stays within budget.