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September 8, 2023

Creating a Budget-Friendly Holiday Shopping Plan

Prevent Overspending With A Plan!


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Hands holding an iPad showing a Christmas budget spreadsheet

Unsplash/Brooke Lark

The Christmas season is a splendid time of year, but it can also be financially overwhelming. From buying gifts for everyone, to making sure your home looks festive and welcoming, you may get a knot in your stomach every time you plunk down that credit card or hit the ATM. Getting ahead of the season with a little planning and holiday budgeting is a smart way to get through the holidays in an organized fashion, while reducing your worries about overspending. Additionally, getting ahead of things and keeping track of your purchases can also help avoid expensive last-minute panic shopping.

We at SANTA.COM are here to help! Consider these step-by-step tips to help keep you from overspending this holiday season.


  • Just like Santa, Keep a List. Track all expenditures, no matter how small.

  • Keep Track of Everything. Update your spreadsheet regularly.

  • Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute. Panic buying is the enemy of budgeting!

  • DIY To The Rescue. Everyone loves home-made gifts.

  • Be Held Accountable. Find a budget buddy and hold each other to your goals.

Just like Santa, Keep a List

Whether you use an excel spreadsheet or an old-fashioned pen and paper, figure out how much you have to spend this season and stick to the plan!

To minimize overspending, think of everyone you intend to shop for, starting with family and friends, before adding the other special people in your life like hairdressers, housekeepers, teachers and fitness instructors. 

Make certain to include all of the expenses around the holidays from gifts to decor, wrapping supplies, travel expenses, holiday outfits, host gifts, and charitable giving. Next, make a list of everyone you need to buy for and how much you'd like to spend on each person. Don’t forget to budget for your annual Christmas cards and stamps!

Keep Track of Everything

Every time you buy something, be sure to update your spreadsheet. Spent too much on one item? See if you can remove something or spend less on another. It can be so very tempting to overspend on those glamorous new heels for the holiday party but keep yourself in check and you'll be thankful when the credit card bill arrives in January!

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

That’s when you panic buy and price-consciousness goes out the window. We at SANTA.COM are fans of buying throughout the year, so you don’t have to spend so much at Christmas! If you see something your sister will love when on vacation in June, buy it and save it!

Also, keep an eye out for deals and see if Black Friday/Cyber Monday has what you are looking for. Don’t forget to comparison shop online to ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible.

DIY to the Rescue

Homemade gifts can go a very long way when budgeting and your gift recipients will love them. Homemade cookies? Nothing better! Hand-knit oven mitts? Very useful! Custom-made salt in little jars with a personal note? Great! All affordable and much-appreciated gifts!

Try the Buddy System

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of doing it alone? You probably have a friend or family member who feels the same way. So help each other out: share your budgeting goals and encourage each other to stay on budget.

Maybe whomever does the best job gets treated to lunch in January! Regardless, it can be a great way to be mindful of spending while making it fun.