If you haven’t already started thinking about Christmas yet, there is no time to waste. In order to get the most bang for your buck you have to start you budget and gift planning now. Most of you already know that I start my Christmas planning in January. If helps me get the best deals on unique and amazing gifts while sticking to my super-strict budget. Don’t worry if you haven’t started your planning yet. I have 5 easy steps to show you how to be a Christmas gift queen on a budget. You will get my exact strategy for finding or making fantastic gifts that your friends and family will love and staying under budget. You will also get a free printable to help you do it. Find the basic budget printable below or become a subscriber and get the entire 10-page Christmas planner for free!
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Start With Your Budget
The first step to any successful financial endeavor is creating a budget. (Grab your free printable by clicking on the picture above!) You need to know how much you can reasonably spend on your gifts this year. They key word there is reasonably. When setting your budget you want the amount to be what you can afford without acquiring more debt and without jeopardizing your personal financial responsibilities. You can read in-depth about creating a written Christmas budget here, but here is a brief overview of the steps:
- Pick Your Number – Determine the total amount that you have to spend on Christmas gifts.
- Make Your List – Make a list of everyone that you have to buy for.
- Allocate Your Funds – Divide your total budget amount among your list of people that you need to buy gifts for.
Again, you can get tips for paring down your list and percentage ideas for allocating your fund here. These are important for setting the foundation to be a Christmas gift queen on a budget.
Brainstorm Gift Ideas
Next, you will need to brainstorm ideas. Write down friends and family members’ tastes, likes, and needs. This is also the step to write down those big items that are on your children’s wish lists. You can refer to this list when deciding on purchases and in the next step when you are planning DIY gifts. Keep it as a reference for creating your list later.
- My oldest wants a new Xbox this year… one with a $400 price tag. That is more than the entire budget for all 3 kids combined. However, since it is the only gift he is asking for, my family and I are all chipping in to get it for him for Christmas. My brother loves this option because all he has to do is hand over money and the gift is bought and wrapped for him. You likely have family members that feel that same way so don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to those big-ticket items.
Plan Your DIY Gifts
One of the best ways to save money on gifts is to go the DIY route. With that said, don’t plan on making more DIY gifts than you have time available for creation in your schedule. One of my favorite ways to save time on DIY gifts is to make batch gifts. (You can read more about batch gifts on Holiday Gift Options: DIY Your Gifts.) To plan for these gifts you want to write out the following for each gift:
- Write down what gifts you are making and for whom you are making it.
- List what supplies you need to make it.
- Determine the supplies that you already own and what you need to buy.
- Lastly, block out time on your calendar for completing the gift.
Make Your List
As I said above, there will specific items that your kids want that you will want to get the best deal on. Put them on your list so that you can compare prices. You also want to include the gifts that you are making for friends and family on this list. If there are materials that you need to purchase, keep them on the list so that you can save on them as well. Many of the craft stores will have awesome sales throughout November. You can also find Lightening Deals frequently on Amazon for materials such as essential oils and battery-operated string lights.
- Before you start shopping, check out the Black Friday ad previews. A lot of items can be purchased online now. Knowing the rock-bottom prices ahead of time can save you truckloads of money.
Start Shopping Now
Lastly, start shopping for your gifts now. Many stores are offering Black Friday preview sales this month in advance of the actual day. Kohl’s just had one and Walmart is having one later this month. I have shopped Walmart’s early preview in the past and had great results. I found the same amazing deals without the crowds and with plenty of stock. Don’t forget about the daily Cartwheel toy discount from Target, either. It is another great way to save on those must-have items from your kids’ wish lists. This is why having your gift list ready is so important. Keep track of the best deals offered so that you can get the best gifts for the best prices and stay under budget.
- If you shop at Kohl’s and get Kohl’s Cash, use it to buy stocking stuffers for your family. Pick up lip balm, small toys, and even candy in-store. This is another great way to save money on your Christmas budget.
Whew! That was a lot of information. If you stuck with me to here, thanks! You now know how to be a Christmas gift queen on a budget. Don’t forget that subscribers can download the entire 10-page Christmas Planner for free on the VIP page. Now, as an added bonus to you lovely ladies, let me know what gift you’re most hoping to save on this year in the comments. I will keep an eye out for deals and if I see a great price, I will comment and let you know. You also want to check my tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday to rock your Christmas savings this year.
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I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.