Christmas is well and truly on it’s way. To be honest, I was starting to freak out.
You see, I’m not one of those people who buy at mid-year sales or layby gifts so the financial pressure of Christmas can get a bit daunting, especially with 3 kids & one income. I’m also hopeless at sticking to a budget.
To make matters worse, my usual style of Christmas shopping is last minute and rather erratic. In our house, Santa fills the kids’ stocking with gifts then they receive one or two larger gifts from me. I like to keep the number of presents even for each kid and I inevitably end up buying far too many, as I see something else a particular child will like then end up having to buy another round of gifts for the others!
To avoid the stress (and spending the first half of 2019 financially crippled), I decided I needed a plan.
Here are the 3 things I am going to do to keep a cap of costs for my kids’ Christmas presents this year:
1. Minimalist & Meaningful gifts
As the majority of the gifts I buy are stocking fillers, I often find myself picking up lots of novelty items that don’t really serve a purpose and the kids quickly lose interest in them. Then they just become more clutter.
For a while now there has been a good minimalist gift buying guide circulating the interwebs that goes along the lines of “Something they need, something they want…”. The original was a little too minimalist for my liking, but a friend of mine recently shared a longer version that really appealed to me. It goes:
- Something they want
- Something they need
- Something to wear
- Something to read
- Something to make
- Something to eat
- And one more thing
I love this! It’s structured and will keep me to 7 stocking items each without feeling like I’m depriving the kids. It will also help me with ideas for 2 pre-teen boys who are starting to get a little tricky to buy for. I may also sneakily throw some back-to-school stuff in the “something they need” category which will further help save some $$.
2. A Joint Gift
I’ve decided on one large joint gift for the kids as their present from me. Once again this will reduce the clutter and make it a meaningful gift. My chosen gift – a new trampoline – is also something that brings them together, keeps them active and healthy, as well as something they really want. Plus the amount I will spend on this joint gift is probably less that I would spend collectively on getting them each an individual present.
Yes, I know I said I’m hopeless at budgeting but this one is a no-brainer when it comes to controlling spending at Christmas time. The main key to help me here is going to be planning ahead so I avoid the erratic shopping. I’ll be doing some online research before hitting the shops so I know I’m getting the best deal.
For savvy shoppers and the fiscally-wise these might not seem like ground-breaking steps to take to keep Christmas spending under control, however for someone like me its going to make the world of difference, not only to my bank account but also to my stress levels!
What type of christmas shopper are you? Do you make a plan and stick to a budget or just hit the shops?