Plan What You'll Spend at Christmas
Christmas shopping is one of the most extreme activities of the
year. Embracing both the essence of a gift-giving holiday and
the over-spending associated with modern life, Christmastime is
both exhilirating for the heart and harrowing for the pocket.
For a more balanced Christmas simply spend some time planning a
budget before you head out to the stores.
Shop till you drop, but make a list first
Lists are great tools, because they have the magical quality of
keeping you focused. It's easy to lose focus when shopping at
Christmastime, because there are so many incredible gifts out
there and we really want to show our friends and family how much
we love them by always buying bigger and better gifts. But at
Christmastime, if you shop without tracking your spending you'll
end up with a Christmas debt that won't feel very festive at
To create your Christmas shopping list, simply begin by
analyzing what income you have at your disposal. Record this
amount at the top of a piece of paper. Then list the names of
friends and family you'll be buying gifts for this year. Next to
each name write a key-word that suggests the most suitable gift
for each person, e.g. "book", "board game", "clothing". Then
divide the total disposable income amongst each person and
record the amount next to each name. This is the maximum amount
you will spend for each gift.
Remind yourself that Christmas is about giving the simple
message of love, it's not about giving bigger, better and more
expensive gifts. Before you walk out the door to go Christmas
shopping, understand one thing: you will be seduced into
spending more than you probably should. So, take a few minutes,
and a few breaths, and simply remember the essence of Christmas.