Big Christmas on a Small Budget


What is the best secret to scoring amazing deals on Christmas presents plus saving a lot of money in the process?

Shopping all year long. 

For me this is a huge win because it means I get to search for amazing deals and shop every month for the loved ones in my life. Shopping and giving are two of my most favorite things to do! 

However shopping and giving means a lot of money. We do not have a lot of money. Shopping throughout the year allows you to be able to search for the best deals so that you can stretch your budget as far as possible while buying great gifts for your family at a fraction of the cost. 

Here is an example of tracking my spending on my daughter for Christmas this year...


I write down my budget for each kid in a spreadsheet. 

  • Column for description of the gift. 
  • Column for Retail of the gift.
  • Column for what I spent on the gift. 

I also keep a running total below so that I can see how much I've spent so far as well as how much the gifts have retailed for. 

I keep a spreadsheet for each kid as well as one spreadsheet for gifts for our extended family. In our extended family spreadsheet I add an extra column that has the budget for each person so I have an idea of what I am looking to spend. 

When I find something I simply enter all the info in and store the gift away until Christmas! 

It's a pretty simple system that is very effective. I've been doing this for four years now and it works flawlessly each year. We set a monthly budget that goes out of our income into it's own column in our YNAB (You Need a Budget) program. So we have money all year long to purchase gifts for Christmas and for our kid's birthdays.

To set a budget I total together budgets for all of the gifts for everyone for Christmas and for our kid's birthdays and divide it by 12. 

Example: $150 (kid one Christmas) + $150 (kid two Christmas)+ $150 (kid three Christmas) + $50 (kid one birthday) + $50 (kid two birthday) + $50 (kid three birthday) + $85 (extended family Christmas stocking stuffers) + $170 (parents, siblings, nieces and nephews) = $855 / 12 = $71.25 a month. I round up to $75 per month for a little added cushion. 

Justin and I do not do gifts for each other. We focus on our children during this time in our lives on one income. :) 

This saves a ton of stress during the holiday season! We already have gifts and they are already paid for. Boo. Yah. Sweet savings and a stress free holiday! 



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2 comments

  1. I am so glad I am not the only one getting weird looks when I tell the cashier, "oh this is a Christmas present". It is never to early to start shopping for Christmas presents! Great idea though setting out a budget for everything.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so glad I am not the only one getting weird looks when I tell the cashier, "oh this is a Christmas present". It is never to early to start shopping for Christmas presents! Great idea though setting out a budget for everything.

    ReplyDelete

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