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Budget Conscious Thinking

We are quickly approaching the holidays and the end of the year.  For most of us, we were hopeful to be done with our shopping and spending, but sometimes things do not go as planned.  Often times, we are scrambling for last minute gifts, whether we think we need to go an extra step for a gift, or we simply forgot, or we have pushed it off until the last minute.  Regardless, spending last minute often leads to over-spending or over-compensating for the lateness of our shopping.
While there is not much that can reverse our current situation, we can move ahead with budget conscious thinking for the remainder of the year and moving into next year.   There are several things to know and think about regarding a budget.  A budget is important to establish boundaries with spending and ultimately save money for necessary spending.   Here are a few tips to budget conscious thinking when it comes to gifting:

  • Start saving at the beginning of the year for gifts. It is important to set aside a specific amount for gifts.  This way you will not be surprised at the amount needed to purchase your perfect gifts and you will have the money readily available.  Also, if you put aside a little every month, it will not be detrimental to your bank account.
  • Only spend within your limits. While it is tempting to spend large amounts on your loved ones, focus on only spending within your means.  If you shop ahead of time, when sales are happening, you can get more for your money.  Try add matching at different stores and waiting for pre-holiday sales to occur.
  • Try a do-it-yourself (DIY) gift. Often times people appreciate a handmade gift, whether it is baked goods, crafts, or art, you don’t have to spend a lot to show someone you love them.
  • Suggest a gift exchange. If you are gifting for a large group of people, suggest starting a gift exchange where you are assigned to one person within the group.  This allows you to spend an adequate amount for one person and assures everyone receives an equally special gift.
  • For current spending, try signing up for store offers and filling out store surveys to receive coupons. You can obtain better prices and deals on the items you are searching for this way.

The above tips are just a few ideas for budget-minded gifting.  If you are last minute gifting, consider following one of these to ensure you stay within your spending means.  As we move into the next year, it is the appropriate time to start planning for future spending and ensure we are making wise budget choices.

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