The holidays are all about family, friends, good food, and unwinding from a long year. This year more than ever, it’s all about celebrating those in our lives that stay there through the thick and thin. We all want to shower our loved ones in gifts to show our appreciation for them, but it can be easy to forget about our own budgets when shopping for others.
Financial planning is a tedious but important part of holiday shopping, especially when it comes to shopping for gifts for our family and friends. It can be incredibly tempting to throw our carefully created budgets out of the window when we’re blinded by all the sales of the holiday season (as well as when we see everything on our loved one’s gift guide), but it’s important to stay on-budget.
Luckily, systems like the cash envelope budgeting system make it easy to stay on track when gift shopping over the holidays. This budget works a lot like how it sounds — you use specifically created envelopes to save for a certain purpose, be it a vacation, a new car, or in this case, holiday gifts.
Using these printable cash budgeting envelopes, you set aside money until you’ve reached a savings goal or deadline. You then use that money for its intended purpose, and its intended purpose alone. This keeps you from going over budget, because you simply can’t — once the money is gone, it’s gone.
You can then use a printable budget sheet to keep track of how much you’ve saved and how much more you want to save until your goal. You can even turn this into an interactive family activity and a way to keep kids entertained, where everyone contributes a few dollars each week until your goal is met. This is also a great opportunity to teach little ones the value of budgeting and working hard for a set purpose, as it makes spending the hard-earned money on its given goal that much more rewarding.
No matter how you choose to prepare for the holiday season, remember that it’s not about what’s under the tree or how much anyone spends on anyone else — it’s about celebrating our family, friends, and other loved ones. Keep your reasons for celebrating close this holiday season!