Christmas is by far my favorite holiday. I love the beautiful decor, the tasty treats, and the fun gatherings that take place. Theres just no other time of year like it. But along with all of this holiday bliss comes a pretty price tag. If you are not careful the holiday spending can get out of control. Here’s how I do Christmas on a budget.
As a single mother and new entrepreneur I am on a pretty strict budget. So extra holiday spending is not something I can go crazy with. And although I make sure to increase my income during these times, having a set budget and a good plan in place goes a long way when making my purchases.
When it comes to gift giving, I have a very particular way I do it. Most people in my life know I do not participate in elaborate gift exchanges. I can’t buy every teacher, coworker, friend and family a gift. I just cannot. Now, I am happy to give you a nice handwritten card and candy cane and call it a day. But a whole gift? Nope, not happening. I have kids and financial goals. I do something I call “the rule of 4”. I only buy 4 Christmas gifts for the four people in my life that mean the most to me. And those gifts have a budget attached.
Additionally, my kids get their four. These are the only 4 Christmas gifts I’m buying.
1. Something they want
Now for my little ones I usually take them to the store and let the look around at all the toys and shop for themselves. We play with stuff and all that. At the end of the shopping trip they get to pick one favorite item. I tell them I can’t get it today but they can pick a small item to take home today. Most likely it’s $5 or less. Then to their surprise their favorite item shows up on Christmas morning.
2. Something they need
This is usually something I have been needing to get for them. In order to stay on the task I pick the thing that I feel they need the most. Last year it was a Sonicare. To my surprise they love that thing.
3. Something to wear
Okay now this is usually a favorite in my household. My babies know to expect socks, underwear, tshirts, and pajamas on Christmas. Then I also get one or two outfits, shoes, and a jacket if they need it. My children are always excited about a new pair of shoes.
4. Something to read
Then because its what I do, everyone gets a book. My daughters love reading, my sons not so much. But I like to take them into the new year with a new story of hope. I pick the book based on my word of the year so that everyone is in sync with the family vision. Even as toddlers I still talk to my kids about setting the intention of having a good new year.
That’s it. That’s how I do Christmas on a budget. However, they also get gifts from my mother and my sister. So, trust me they are happy campers come Christmas day.