Tips on How to Buy Christmas Gifts on a Budget

During the holidays, you want to show your loved ones how much you adore them with the right presents, so do a little research into how to buy Christmas gifts on a budget. Contrary to what some people think, you don’t have to skimp on quality to maintain a budget. Once you know how much you plan to spend, you need to figure out to stay under that limit.

To keep your list of Christmas gifts within your allowance, you must do one of three things: reduce the number of people you buy for, minimize the amount you spend on each person, or increase the amount available in the budget. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to manage your shopping. Save some money with these Christmas gift ideas for your budget-conscious mind.

Try a Secret Santa Gift Exchange

Secret Santa exchanges are a fun way to let loose with your Christmas gift ideas, but without buying presents for every person you know. When you set up this gifting game, each person puts their name on a piece of paper. Use a hat or any container to mix up the names, and then allow every participant to pick a paper at random, not letting anyone know who chose who. When it’s time for the exchange, each person finds out who their Secret Santa is as they receive their Christmas gifts.

These exchanges are perfect for a busy office or a large family, since you have enough money to buy a creative Christmas gift for the person you select. This type of arrangement promotes more than just a healthier budget; it gives you the opportunity to spread the cheer during the most festive season of the year with holiday gift baskets and other goodies, perfect ideas for most anyone you have to buy for.

Separate Gifts in Tiers

If you don’t want to seclude your budget to one recipient, you need to set a limit on the amount you spend for each Christmas gift, which is easy when you separate each group into tiers. The top tier has the highest dollar amount and the bottom tier the lowest. Reserve the top tier for immediate family members and your significant other.

The next tier is usually your friends, then your coworkers, and finally, everyone else. The total you spend goes down with each tier, but you still know exactly how to buy Christmas gifts for everyone on your list. It’s up to you to stick to the dollar amount you set for yourself, with each person’s present varying in the total cost.

Stick With Cash

While you shop around, the easiest way to spend your money is to have it on your credit or debit card. But by using cash instead, you can see how much you spend with each present or gift set, and the exact amount you have left at all times. Using cash doesn't mean you have to limit where you do your spending. Take the amount you want to use in cash, and load it to a prepaid card so you can still buy online, limit how much you spend, and buy without going over your budget

Save in Advance

One of the hardest things is to live paycheck to paycheck, which makes you feel like you won’t be able to use any of your Christmas gift ideas during the holidays. Rather than waiting until October or November to start saving for Christmas gifts, make the most of your time and begin doing this earlier. In January, set an amount that you want to put aside each month until the end of the year.

Even though your goal is to have enough for all the different people on your list by the fall, you also have a chance to buy presents as you find them, rather gathering up your Christmas gift collection in a single shopping trip. Without this crunch time during the holidays, you endure less stress through this time of the year, as the final days get nearer. If it’s easier for you to separate your budget, set up a savings account for the holidays, helping you accrue interest as you put aside money.

The holidays are the most expensive time of year, since many parties and celebrations involve giving presents for your loved ones. A budget keeps you from breaking the bank with all the packages you want to purchase. No one has a limitless credit card, but the right application of your budget ensures that all your friends and family receive the presents they deserve. When you prepare for the holidays, jot down Christmas gift ideas so you have a complete list by the time you shop. Make sure to add thank-you gifts for anyone who brings you something as well. Regardless of your decisions on how to buy Christmas gifts, compare prices between your different options for the most cost-efficient purchases, and keep several tips in mind when shopping.