I don't want to proclaim myself as a penny pincher but let's just say I record everything that goes in and out of my bank account. Ever since I was little I have been very cautious of how I spend money. Now that I'm out of school, planning for the future is very important to me. But, of course, this is Christmas... so how do I keep things under control?

Brainstorm Gift Ideas

Thinking of good gifts for my loved one's is always so difficult for me. Nothing I could ever afford would be enough to show them how much I love them. And with a budget... that becomes even more difficult. But, I find that brainstorming gift ideas (or just straight up asking them what they want) helps me get a general idea of the cost of items. Writing a list is always good so you can peruse online to see the rough estimates.

Stick to Plan A

How often do you go out to the store and see something you know someone will love but... you've already bought their gift. Unless it's a gift that's only released seasonally my advice would be to wait for the next gift giving holiday (birthdays, mothers day, etc.). And if you really think they would like this gift more, return the other gift or give it to someone else on your list!

Keep Track of Spending

For the most part I keep all my budgeting in my bullet journal. I can see how much I've spent each month, compare months or weeks, etc. And that goes for Christmas spending too! Every time I buy a gift I'll write it down along with the cost until I've reached that persons budget. Which leads me to my next tip...

Make a Ranked Budget

I know... your office assistant has been great to you all year long. But does this person deserve a gift as expensive as your father or sister? I give myself the biggest budget for my most near and dear, then spend slightly less for friends, and finally the smallest for acquaintances. This way I feel like I've done the best I could given a limited amount of spending money I have!

I hope this has been somewhat helpful for you as you buy gifts for your loved ones! And I have to say, remember, Christmas is not about the gifts that you buy so never feel bad for not being able to afford presents. Just show your love in other ways XOXO Sam

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