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Setting a Holiday Gift Giving Budget

The holidays are right around the corner, and it’s easy to get in over-your-head financially during this season of giving. To help avoid that from occurring, here are some tips to help you set a gift giving budget!

First, create a budget for the gifts that you want to give. There are several ways to do this.

  • Set aside a percentage of your budget to go towards gift giving. It’s easiest to start this early in the year and depending on your annual income, experts recommend anywhere between 1% - 5% to be saved for gift giving.
  • Another method is to determine how much you want to spend per person and add that up for your budget.
  • Or, you can create categories for family, friends, neighbors, service providers, etc. Set a dollar amount for each category, then divide by the number of people in each category. This will give you a budget amount for each person.

To help your budget stay on track:

  • Consider setting up a separate gift giving bank account so that you know that all of the money in that account is for that purpose.
  • Take advantage of sales and buy gifts early if possible.
  • If you need to bring in some extra income, consider taking on holiday work, babysitting, or dog sitting.
  • Instead of buying gifts for some people who may be on your list, consider making something for them, or giving them a holiday card with some homemade treats.
  • Look for meaningful gifts that may not cost a lot of money, such as a book from someone’s favorite author, a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant or that can be used towards something they really want. You might even ask other family or friends to go in with you towards a gift for someone special.

Remember, it doesn’t matter how much or how little a gift costs. What matters is that it comes from the heart! If you plan on giving gifts this holiday season, then make it as stress-free as possible by setting a budget and sticking to it!

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