The Christmas season is finally here! I absolutely love everything about this time of year (minus ice storms, those are just horrid). With four children and tons of friends and family, it is the one time of year my shopping can get out of hand! Staying in a budget can be tough, and it is so easy to spend extra when it is on gifts. How do you survive Christmas without spending too much money?

We all know the easiest way to not go over budget is just to not spend that much, right?! Okay, so it really isn’t that simple. We want to make every one on our lists day. You see the perfect gift (or three) and want to buy it right then and there. Thankfully, our friend Lauren Wisemen from the Bizzmark Blog has given us the ultimate guide to surviving Christmas !

So check out these awesome tips on how to survive Christmas without spending too much money and get ready to be in control of your pocket-book this season!

The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Christmas (Money wise)

No matter how well we budget throughout the year, it all seems to fall into the water once the holiday season arrives. Although it might be perfectly understandable to spend a little bit more during the holidays, we rarely spend just a little bit more and often splurge like there is no tomorrow.

This turns the most beautiful time of the year into one massive debt we somehow need to resolve quickly or suffer an endless barrage of interest piling up slowly but surely. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be like this every single year and it’s time to start learning from our mistakes and using that knowledge to improve ourselves and avoid making the same financial mistakes we do every year.

1. Make a budget and don’t go over it

Budgeting is significant for a number of reasons. First, you’re setting a limit to your spending, thus ensuring you won’t burn a hole through your pocket while shopping. Second, you are clearly and definitively distributing the amount of money at your disposal. This helps you figure out what your largest and most important expenses are and what you’re left with for more causal spending. But no budgeting experience is complete without reviewing your actual spending.

2. Track your expenses

Expense and receipt tracking is a crucial part of budgeting. While you may know the exact amount of cash you can set aside for holiday shopping, tracking how much you spent allows you to work on your expenses. For example, you’ve set aside $20 for a Christmas present, but you’ve only spent $15.

On the one hand, you can take those $5 you have left over and save it or you can use it to shop for something that costs slightly more than what you’ve hoped for, allowing you to stay within a budget while getting something a bit more expensive than what you’ve planned for.

3. Make a shopping plan

Every mom knows this by heart, but no shopping experience, let alone a Christmas one, is complete without a shopping plan. Listing all the items you plan on buying simply isn’t enough. What you need to do is plan your expenses and take care of the most urgent ones first. Shopping plans and lists save a lot of time you would normally spend trying to remember every single item and make the overall shopping experience more organized and relaxed.

4. Know when to shop

This is probably one of the most important advice on this list. Knowing when to shop for which item helps you budget more efficiently and allows you to prepare your plan well in advance. Some items might be on discount a couple of weeks before the holidays, while others might hit their record low on the exact day of the holiday and knowing which one to buy and when is crucial in helping you avoid going over the budget.

5. List everyone you want to buy a gift

Besides listing all the gifts you plan on shopping, you should also list all the people you plan on giving those gifts to. Again, knowing who exactly you’re shopping for allows you to make a reasonable financial estimate and use it to create your budget and decide which presents need to be bought and when. Additionally, taking the time to list everyone minimizes the chances of leaving someone behind.

The holiday season is by far one of the busiest times of the year for shoppers and going over the budget is easier than you think. Create a shopping plan, complete with all the people you plan on getting a gift, the types of gifts most suitable for each person and the amount of money you’re comfortable spending on each gift. Lastly, unexpected costs creep up fast during the holidays, so set aside some additional funds just in case.

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  1. Budgeting is definitely number one – its so easy to get carried away – for certain people in particular, I could just buy and buy and buy. I think being more thoughtful with your spending is so important.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this! Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but it can be a killer for your wallet.

  3. I am definitely tracking expenses because I don’t have much money and have a lot of people to buy for! I just need old Father Christmas to come and lend me a hand with my finances lol! x

  4. A good plan and budget are so essential. It is not easy to stay in budget when Xmas is arriving,There are always some extra thing that we maybe not need but want to buy.

  5. Great guide, this tie even I have made a list and finalized a budget. I’m for sure not going to spend a penny more. Engaging in various deals is helping me stick to my budget.

  6. I’m so much in tune with you, tis time I have made a list and fixed the budget so that it doesn’t overshoots everytime. Also I’m heavily looking out for deals and discounts and shopping for Christmas from there, be it online or offline.

  7. We always make a budget, but sometimes we find that one gift we just have to get for the kids! We do need to be better at tracking our expenses. Thanks for sharing these great tips!

  8. These are great tips, thank you for sharing. I love lists, so writing everyone I need to buy gifts for is key for me!

  9. If you are not prepared, Christmas can be really painful! I love your list! I do also have a budget for gifting and also make a list with name and do a little online shopping before hand for deals.

  10. Ahh, that is definitely something I need to do: track finances and expenses. I can’t believe it’s already December, but you put out these points just at the right time – thanks!

  11. Great advice! I really need to keep my budget in mind this year. Having a clear strategy before I shop is clearly going to help.

  12. Thats one awesome guide. Wrote all down hopefully i will survive christmas

  13. I love this, such a good reminder to also save this Christmas and not go all out. It’s really important to set a budget and never go over it!

  14. These are some great tips! I’m always creating lists and at Christmas time it’s a must when you have over 20 nieces and nephews to buy for.

  15. I think the main thing about staying on top of your money is by planning. I start my shopping around September so I can spread the cost x

    1. Nice tip! Thanks for sharing!

  16. I feel like I did ok this year, but as usual I went over on the budget part. I think I really should start planning earlier than November!

    1. Haha 🙂 Yes, the planning is the most important part. Saves us the headache!

  17. Making a list is my life saver. Without one I would invariably leave someone out. Not good! I’ve never made a budget for gifts but really need to. These are great tips.

  18. I never go shopping without a plan and if possible a list and tracking the budget is really important. It’s easy to go over the budget during the holiday season and I find your tips very helpful. Thanks for sharing.
    Do drop by my blog as well : 🙂

  19. I love all of these tips. I’m so glad to be done with my Christmas shopping already. I bought stuff last year when it was on sale for my girls.

  20. Having a budget and sticking to it is so important. I try to win gift cards from sweepstakes to put towards Christmas. We also look around for sales and do our best to stretch our budget.

  21. I tend to go overboard, when it comes to Christmas shopping. Making a shopping plan is a great idea! Your tips are really helpful!

  22. This year we decided to spend less on things and save up for our upcoming vacation. We do have a small family so its easy to budget.

  23. I shop all year long for gifts for the family. I have a box for gifts that everything goes into, that way I know What I have or don’t have.

    1. That`s a great strategy! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  24. Christmas, we all have a tendency to go buts. Me i buy few presets for my daughter to open, then wait for a day then go shopping in the sales.

  25. These are awesome and very helpful tips. We tend to buy unnecessary things and go beyond our budget when we don’t plan ahead of time. Thanks for sharing!

  26. Totally agree with all your tips. We always set a budget for our holiday shopping because we don’t want to end up broke after Christmas.

  27. This is one area I wish I was much more like my ex. Sh e starts checking out Christmas gifts all year long. So she would have many ready by the time we reached the fall already that we never had to do major shopping at Christmas. Maybe one big ticket item and that was it.

  28. These are really great tips. I do have a tendency to go overboard on Christmas!

  29. Making lists seems so simple but know lot of people who don’t do it and their spending gets out of control this time of year. A list is a nice way to keep yourself in check, especially against impulse buys. Nice reminder to keep our family budgets in mind while holiday shopping in this post … kudos!

  30. Oh yeah, Christmas is just around the corner and to be honest some people think its a time of spending too. But you’re right – there are ways to spend right and wise. Allotting a budget and list will surely helps.

  31. Excellent shopping guide. This post is relevant and applicable to all occasions. We should work on budget before making shopping decisions. You have shared important tips for moneywise shoppings. Thanks for the writing.

  32. These are definitely some great tips when it comes to spending at the holidays. Keeping a list is super important in our family as we have 6 kids we buy gifts for, in addition to other family members.

  33. I’m doing my best to not go overboard on spending. I’m traveling long term, and I’m currently in Canada. Everything is expensive, so I keep my eyes peeled for deals as I still want to give gifts. 🙂

  34. A great advice. I really have a headache with my budget at Christmas. There are so many things I need to prepare. I’m looking for discount campaigns to reduce my budget.

  35. Great tips. I agree, people 100% over spend at Christmas so these tips are so helpful. x

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