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Easing the Financial Burden of Christmas Shopping

Although we all would prefer to not have to worry about finances when it comes to Christmas shopping the unfortunate truth is that the majority of people do not have unlimited funds to spend on Christmas presents for their friends, relatives and co-workers. As a result most of us have to set budgets for Christmas shopping and have to repay any debts which are incurred while shopping for Christmas presents. However, there are ways to ease the financial burden of Christmas shopping. Some of the most common ways to easy the financial burden include spreading out the Christmas shopping throughout the year, opening a Christmas savings account and sticking to a strict budget when it comes to purchasing Christmas presents.

If you typically wait until the last minute to do your Christmas shopping you probably understand the stress of last minute Christmas shopping all too well. Not only is it stressful to have to find appropriate gifts and purchase them, wrap them and deliver them to the recipient in a short time period but it also places a tremendous strain on the wallet especially for those who purchase a large number of gifts or for those who purchase extravagant gift for the recipients on their Christmas shopping list. The problem with this type of Christmas shopping strategy, in addition to the stress of finding great gifts, is the buyer is faced with paying for all of these gifts at one time. This can be very difficult especially for those who are already on a tight budget and may not have a great deal of money left over in their monthly budget. Without proper planning these individuals may be faced with the dilemma of either shortening their list of gift recipients or purchasing inexpensive gifts for each member on their list. However, if these same people plan to shop throughout the year they may find they are able to purchase gifts for one or two individuals on their list each month with the money that is left over in their monthly budget. This strategy of spreading out the Christmas shopping throughout the year makes the financial burden of Christmas shopping significantly less difficult.

Opening a Christmas savings account can also be very useful for the purpose of easing the financial burden of Christmas shopping. This is helpful because most Christmas savings accounts accrue interest and do not allow you to withdraw money from the account before a certain time. This allows you to gain a small amount of interest on your savings and ensures you won’t be tempted to use the money you are saving for Christmas shopping for other expenses throughout the year. You could always take an envelop and add a percentage of each one of your paychecks during the year but if you save this way you will not be earning any interest on the money you are putting aside. Additionally, you may be tempted to use some of the money for small purchase or emergencies which arise during the year. A Christmas savings account is so convenient, you can even have money directly deposited into it from each paycheck or you could simply transfer money into your Christmas savings account from another savings account or your checking account each month.

Finally, the financial burden of Christmas shopping can be eased by setting a strict budget and sticking to this budget. This is important because it can help to keep you from spending more on shopping for Christmas gifts than you had intended. If you budget carefully and plan on only spending as much money as you already have saved or as much as you can afford to spend than you do not have to worry about going into debt to provide Christmas gifts for your loved ones. While it is important to set a budget, it is also important to track your purchases to make sure you are sticking to your budget. If you go over your spending limit on a few people on your list, you will have to consider either eliminating a few people or reducing the amount of money you can spend on a few people. This will help you to remain under your budget.

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Setting a Budget for Christmas Shopping

It is never too early to start thinking about setting a budget for Christmas shopping. As much as we would like to be able to purchase anything we want for our friends and relatives, it is an unfortunate reality, that many of us have to budget carefully to be able to purchase Christmas gifts for all of our friends and relatives during the holiday season. With this in mind it is very important to set a budget for Christmas shopping and to try to really stick to that budget.

Some people take an interesting approach to setting a budget for Christmas shopping by waiting until they are ready to start shopping to set the actual budget. These individuals usually do this because they are saving specifically for the purpose of Christmas shopping. Whether they open up a bank account specifically for Christmas shopping, set aside money for this purpose in an envelop each week or plan on using a percentage of their income from the month of November for Christmas shopping it is important to set a budget and determine a plan for purchasing all of your Christmas gifts without exceeding this budget.

Other people take a different approach to setting a budget for Christmas shopping by shopping throughout the year and incorporating their spending for Christmas presents into their monthly budgets. These individuals may allot a portion of their monthly income to gift giving and either purchase the gifts on a monthly basis or simply set aside the money for a Christmas shopping spree at a later date. Those who spread out the Christmas shopping by doing a little bit of shopping each month not only keep their budget in control but also eliminate a great deal of the stress which often accompanies last minute Christmas shopping.

Still others take a more interesting approach to setting a budget for Christmas shopping. Those who typically receive a financial bonus at work around Christmas time may base their budget on the amount of money they are awarded in this bonus. This strategy may work out well for some as it does not allow them to alter their normal monthly spending strategy because these bonuses are typically not considered in the regular monthly budgeting. However, unless these bonuses are guaranteed annually, there is some risk involved in this strategy. Often annual bonuses are awarded based on criteria such as the companyís earnings and the individual employeeís contributions to the success of the company. The company may not enjoy financial success or the contributions of the employee may not be highly valued and therefore there may be either no bonus or a bonus much lower than expected. When this happens, those who count on bonuses for Christmas shopping may find themselves in a difficult situation.

Budgeting for Christmas shopping is particularly important for those who plan to use credit cards to make their purchases. In the case of credit card purchases it might be worthwhile to spread the Christmas shopping out over the entire year and repay the debts associated with the shopping monthly. This will help to prevent carrying a balance and being charged interest on the balance each month. However, if it is necessary to do all of the Christmas shopping at one time, it is wise to save up during the year for these purchases. Before you begin shopping, evaluate the amount of money you have saved and set a budget for your Christmas shopping. This way even though you are using a credit card and will receive a large bill the following month, you should have enough money to repay the bill in its entirety and avoid paying interest on the debt.

Even those with the best of intentions may find themselves going over their budget when Christmas shopping. When this happens it is important to keep things in perspective and avoid going too far over budget. You may spend too much on one or two people on your Christmas list but you can recover from this by purchasing less expensive gifts than planned for a few other people to compensate.

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