Before kids my Christmas budget was never too out of hand. I didn’t have anyone who I felt the need to lavish with gifts. Sure, I still liked giving meaningful gifts, but I found that those didn’t have to cost a lot of money.
My first daughter was born in December of 2008. I was too exhausted to worry about Christmas, so that year I hardly spent anything. The next year, I spent a little more. The year after that I had a second baby who was seven months old when Christmas came around.
When my girls were that small I didn’t have to worry about going overboard. The truth was they didn’t need anything. Plus, it’s not like they would’ve remembered that Mom only spent $30 on them for Christmas anyway.
Now that they’ve gotten older (four and six years old) it’s a whole new ball game. Their personalities have come to life. They each have their own set of interests, favorite TV shows, favorite books, and unique (okay, a bit crazy) sense of style. They love clothes.
And when I see their faces light up after opening gifts on Christmas morning it becomes sooooo easy to want to spend even more the next year.
On the other side of the equation I don’t want my kids to place too emphasis much on materialistic stuff. I want them to know that life is about so much more.
To keep myself from going into the consumerism mindset I’ve got to, in a sense, trick myself and I think I’ve found a pretty good way to do it.
Stick to Your Christmas Budget With……
By buying a predetermined amount of gift cards and allowing yourself to only use those for Christmas you can definitely stick to your budget.
There are other benefits too. Like these:
- You’re forcing yourself to be creative in your gift giving.
- You can gift some of the gift cards if you don’t want to be creative.
- If you purchase through Kroger you can get double or more the fuel points which can add up to some significant gas savings.
- You can buy gift cards at lower than face value using a site like Gift Card Granny.
- You can buy a gift card every month all year long to spread out the cost.
If you only used gift cards for Christmas, how much less would you spend? Probably a lot. If you’re like me and tempted to spend more than you should on gifts for your kids, I think sticking to a predetermined gift card budget could be a great help.
What do you think? Have you ever used a gift card budget for Christmas shopping?