Did you spend too much on Christmas gifts this year? So many people get caught up in the excitement of the holidays and wanting to please their spouses, children and extended family with gifts that they really cannot afford to buy without exhausting their bank accounts or credit lines.
It’s only after that they realize that the moment of satisfaction has passed and it’s time to pay the piper. Everyone should have a budget in mind for each person and as a whole for Christmas gift giving.
The same should be done for all other holidays and special days throughout the year.
I have seen parents overwhelm their children with gifts during their childhood years conditioning them with expectations for the wealth of receivables for Christmas and birthdays. I have seen children throw temper-tantrums when they receive a new clothing outfit, as they have been conditioned to receive so many toys.
WORST CASE SCENARIO
The worst case scenario is someone I knew that would continuously spoil her nieces and nephews with gifts to the point that they related her to receiving gifts whenever they saw her and would have great disappointment when she came empty-handed.
For obvious reasons, this is unhealthy for children, but back to the focus of this article, a budget for gift giving is essential in controlling the out-of-control purchases for gifts. One might think that spending a little here and a little there on gifts for every special occasion is harmless, but when totaling the balance spent for all occasions combined can be astounding.
Christmas seems to be the biggest problem for budget busting expenditures.
My recommendation for next year is to establish an over-all budget on MS Excel and then list all of the people on your list that you must buy for. Then work everyone on your list, not to exceed your total budget. You can include columns for all of the holidays throughout the new year, including Anniversaries, Birthdays, Valentines Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day and Christmas.
This could be your annual budget for gift giving and a useful tool in maintaining your cost controls in this category.
Do you currently use a budget for gift giving? Do you find it helps you control your spending? If you don’t already have a gift giving budget, it’s never too late to start!