Things To Consider When Drafting The Perfect Christmas Budget
Christmas is just around the corner, and along with it are the endless shopping bills. We sometimes get too carried away with the festive holiday season that we lose track of our money. It does not help that every time we browse the internet, ads flood the screen pushing us to buy more either!
The culture of this season is somehow misinterpreted. People see this as the season to give and receive gifts. This expectation leaves us with a tight budget and a bill that just seems so irrational. So before anyone starts going to shopping malls, let us first learn how to have an effective budget during the holidays.
Learn from the past
So, what was Christmas like last year? Was it fun? Was it overflowing with food? Are there many regretted purchases? Well, as what they say, history is the best teacher, so learn from it. It’s best to consider the events of previous celebrations and collate those data to make a comprehensive report. Try to remember the emotions that were felt as soon as the bills started pouring. If there are things that we thought important but did not really made any difference, then just skip it. If it did not matter then, it won’t still matter now.
Ever wonder why Santa always has a list? Well, maybe he’s on a tight budget that he needs to stick to. If that is the case, then, let’s all be Santa.
Making a list will help us remember and prioritize all the people that we value. Shopping without a list is like cutting onions, it can make us cry and messy. Shopping lists are like the Polaris of the great navigators, they treat it with great value so they can arrive at the desired destination. Lists also help our brain get more categorized, and it eliminated the huge tendency of impulsive buying.
When making a list, think hard. Prioritize people who are important. The lunch lady will understand if she will not make the cut, so don’t try to give everyone everything.
Sky is not the limit
Now that the list is already in place, try to think of a ceiling amount of all the spending combined. Take all the monetary spending into consideration. Money spent on food, transportation, and even gift wrappers should be included in the budget. It’s the little things we forgot to write down that end up being the culprit of our budget.
When the desired budget is achieved, try to stick to it. What’s the point of a list and a budget if it’ll be ignored? So, no, don’t buy that pair of shoes that looks really nice. Never bargain with the fixed budget, or the entire thing will crumble down.
This budget should also be drafted according to our monthly income. The money we release should not surpass the money that we’re bringing in- this can only lead to a stressful post-Christmas.
Pay in cash
Bringing cash while shopping might be a little work, but it’s going to be worth it. Having cash will give us a clear, physical picture of what’s only left of our money. It can help us control or dial down some crazy spending and will put us back into perspective. Having a credit card may be convenient, but since it’s only a vague representation of money, we get lost into and betray our budget. Sure, it feels nice to be able to take home the things we’ve been eyeing for, but the true pain only comes in when that monthly bill gets delivered.
Christmas is not just about the gift and the brand new clothes. Though it seems to be more special, Christmas is still more than just that. We sometimes see it as a season of receiving and giving only. Kids get disappointed when their parents don’t wrap presents, and somehow, it’s tainting the sacred feast. True, it’s better to give back to other people but not to the point that we find ourselves in maxed out credit cards.
Remembering and feeling the true meaning of Christmas must still be a priority.
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