I know what you’re thinking, fall doesn’t officially start for another week and here I am talking about Christmas shopping already. But did you know that there are already less than 100 days till Christmas? One of the main areas of stress during the holidays is money. The only way to save money when it comes to Christmas shopping is to set a budget. Knowing exactly how much you have to spend will help you to plan your gifts and your shopping accordingly.
It’s so easy to enter into the holiday season thinking that you don’t need to budget or plan because you have a good idea of how much you will spend. This is usually me, and then I tend to forget what gifts I may have already bought, or, I might accidentally buy more for one child and not the other, which leads to more spending.
So even though it’s the end of September it’s important to set aside some time to set up a plan of how much you want to spend or save. If you’re looking for some tips on getting started, here are 10 tips to help you plan your Christmas budget this year!
6 Tips For Planning a Holiday Budget
- Reward Programs – One of the most helpful tips is to take advantage of those reward programs. We use Chase Ultimate Rewards, and it’s available to Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire, and Ink from Chase holders. Every time I make a purchase using my card I receive points that I can then redeem on a ton of rewards like travel, experiences, merchandise, gift cards, and even cash back. So you can even save your rewards for the year and purchase Christmas gifts with your rewards without spending a dime! Visit Chase Ultimate Rewards to learn more.
- Shop Refurbished – If you’re looking to buy any electronics, shop refurbished and save a ton of money.
- Shop Online – I always save more money when I shop online. I hate shopping when I’m stressed because I tend to just buy what I see to get out of there. And there’s always stress at malls during the holidays so it’s so much less stressful at home. And I can enjoy it in my slippers and a cup a coffee while I’m at it.
- Gift an experience instead of a toy. Chase Ultimate Rewards offers exclusive VIP access to concerts, sporting events, movie premieres and more.
- Purchase Gift Cards – Gift cards are the perfect gifts to buy and usually on the top of holiday wish lists. So turn in those points in exchange for some fabulous gift cards. With Ultimate Rewards you can buy gift cards for the same price you’d pay in store — so no additional mark-ups!
- Plan, Plan, Plan – Write up a holiday shopping list with who gets what present and how much it should cost, followed with how much you plan on spending on each person. Sometimes I forget what I ordered or bought so this helps keep track of how much I budgeted for each person on my shopping list. You can also use what you’ve racked up in points on your rewards credit card as your budget!
What are some of your tips for saving money for the holidays?