How to Work Holiday Expenses into Your Budget Without Breaking the Bank

December is on its way and the holidays are just around the corner. You probably want to feel excited about Christmas, but sometimes the holidays feel more like a burden when all the gifts are coming out of your wallet. We get it.

In fact, The National Retail Federation predicts that American consumers will spend an average of $999.73 on gifts and holiday items alone in 2021. That’s a pretty penny when you consider the median weekly salary is $989 before taxes in the U.S.

At PrizePool, we believe that budgeting around the holiday season is key to enjoying the holiday season. We recognize the staggering stats that prove the holidays are the most financially stressful time of the year. Lucky for you, we have a few tips that should help you buy Christmas gifts on a budget and still create some magic for the family and friends around you. From budgeting early to thinking outside the box, here is how you can work holiday expenses into your budget without breaking the bank.

Consider Budgeting Early

Because we tend to spend more money around Christmastime than any other time of year, we must budget accordingly. If you plan to spend the same amount of money in December that you do every other month, you will come up short for holiday expenses. Try setting aside some money each month of the year leading up to December – this will give you a little more cash to spend on gifts and festive activities.

We know you likely have many things you’re saving up for each month, so a prize-linked savings account may incentivize you to set aside money for Christmas, specifically.

Score the Deals Throughout the Year

Companies run their biggest deals when fewer people are shopping for their products. For example, ski gear is cheaper in the summer and pool toys are cheaper in the fall. Watching for opportunities like these throughout the year is a great money-saving tactic. As much as we all thrive off the chaos of Black Friday, you can avoid it by finding even better deals throughout the year. Sometimes, finding Christmas gifts on a budget requires buying them early and storing them where their recipients won’t find them.

Think Unconventionally – What’s More Meaningful?

Remember that not every Christmas gift has to be some expensive, lavish present. The best gifts are meaningful without breaking the bank. Consider giving gifts that connect to a memory you share with the person you’re giving it to. When it comes to white elephant gift exchanges, inexpensive gifts can often be the funniest and most memorable.

Use a Template to Organize Funds

Plenty of templates, apps, and planners can teach you how to create a Christmas budget. If you simply search “Christmas Budget” into Google, several templates will pop up. Find one that fits your needs, print it out, and organize your funds.

You Decide

A blue piggy bank with a Santa hat against a blue background demonstrates how to create a holiday budget.

In the end, how you create a holiday budget is up to you. Find what works for you and your family to have a little extra money in the bank in December. Above all, Christmas can be special without being expensive. 

Happy holidays!