How To Plan and Budget For Christmas Early This Year

I cannot believe it’s time to start planning for the Holidays again! While I try to live in the moment during this season of my life, I also have to be proactive about planning ahead. In Christmas’s past, I have found myself spending quite a bit more than I had intended. It’s hard not to get swept up with the amazing “deals” and wanting to give everyone you love the perfect gift. After a few years of mismanaging my holiday spending, I decided to start planning for it earlier. Here’s why you should too. Let me break down my strategy for you. 

August: 4 months before Christmas, I make my list of people to buy for and set a dollar amount for each person. I have a large family and we have broken up gift giving a few different ways over the years. I set a variable budget for this as we have changed it up each year. Sometimes I give a gift to each family, other times just the kids, sometimes we do kids plus pick a sibling. It often depends on peoples financial ability that year, or boils down to what we feel like at the time.  One thing I always know is that every kid gets a gift, so I can always plan for that. The sibling/ family is a variable that I will set a budget for just in case. 

Here’s the layout I use to keep track of the who/ what/ and how much.

Once I have a total budget, I divide the spending throughout the remaining months. Here’s how it I typically break it down.

September: Nieces/Nephews

October: Select Friends/ My Kids

November: Husband/ My Kids (remainder if any)

December: Neighbors/ Stockings/ Sibling (if applicable)

I try to keep all gifts at $20, except of course my core little family. Their budget is around $100 each not including stockings. I try to spend the least in December on gifts since I often spend more on food and activities during this month. 

How do you do it in your family?



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