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How to Spend Less and Stress Less for the Holidays

Spend Less and Stress Less 

Christmas is barreling towards us faster than we expected. To everyone’s surprise … we fell asleep on December 26th of last year feeling relieved that we survived another Christmas. Then suddenly, we opened our eyes and realized that it’s here again!  Christmas is already giving us a sly smile while whispering “hello” in our ear. We see stores hiring seasonal staff, and we hear people explain how they cannot spend anything extra because every dime will be spent on the upcoming celebrations. 

If you’re anything like me, gift giving is a sport. I love finding or making the best thing possible for the person receiving the gift. Gift giving is 100% my love language and I wouldn’t give up Christmas present giving for anything.  If you read my last post you already know that being married and becoming a parent at a young age has weighed on my financial situation.  But I am here to tell you, I am prepared this year!  And you can be too!

Here are 5 tips to help you spend less and stress less this holiday season! 

1. SET A BUDGET– If you want to stay within a budget this Christmas, you have to set a budget. I’ll be using my Christmas budget as an example. My budget this Christmas is to spend no more than $500. That includes: stockings, family gifts, friends, work associates, parties that have white elephants, you name it. My budget is non-negotiable, No ifs, ands or buts.

2. MAKE A LIST OF PRIORITIES– As we all know, I am all about lists. I make lists for lists. Make a list of everyone you want to buy for. Have the most important buys at the top.

3. SET AN INDIVIDUAL BUDGET- Go through the list and decide how much to spend on each person. On my side of the family there are 11 kids plus two spouses, so we draw names every year; my budget for my sister is $30. My budget for my husband is $100. 

4. DECIDE ON GIFT IDEAS- One thing I learned through years of a gift giving obsession is that I always spend more if I go shopping for someone without knowing what to get them. I now decide on gifts before I go out.  I do my research on best prices and then shop with the intention on finding that gift and that gift alone. P.S. DIY does NOT always mean cheaper!

5. REMEMBER WHY YOU HAVE A BUDGET- I sometimes find myself feeling guilty when budgeting for presents. I always want to give more and spoil everyone. But then I remember that budgeting is also a gift; it’s a gift to myself and for my family. It’s a gift that allows me to be more present, less stressed, and still have everything in order.

Do you like gift giving? What are ways you plan to stay on top of your budget this season? I want to hear about it, comment below!

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