Santa Barbara
66° F
Santa Maria
58° F
San Luis Obispo
59° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
62° F

Set budget for holiday gift giving

Published On: Oct 04 2011 01:42:33 PM CDT
Updated On: Nov 20 2013 09:51:21 AM CST
money with bow


By Jean Marquit, Contributing writer

One of the most expensive times of the year is holiday season. Many people want to show their love to family and friends through gifts, but before they know it, the debt is piling up.

Before the holiday season arrives, consider putting together a budget for holiday gift giving. Especially in the current economic climate, a budget can help you keep track of your expenses, and keep you honest as you do your holiday gift shopping.

Evaluate Your Limits

It is important to set limits. You can do this by setting a per-person limit, or by setting an overall limit. Some people find it helpful to put together a list of everyone they plan to get gifts for, and then list "extra" gifts for people that they may have forgotten. Look at your list and your financial situation, and decide how much you can afford to spend on gifts.

Remember: You need to be brutally honest with yourself about how much you can afford to spend. You may not be able to buy a holiday travel package as a gift this year, especially if things are tight.

Step Two: Consider Your Options

Think about the gifts that you plan to give. Check their prices and comparison shop. Think about your talents and consider making gifts. Remember to spend appropriately. Mom and dad should, as a general rule, have a more expensive gift than siblings. Do you really need to get gifts for the children of close family friends and relatives?

Another option is to speak with family ahead of time. Many large families limit gift giving budgets by doing a drawing for who you will buy a gift for. Then a dollar amount serves as the limit.

Track Spending

Part of budgeting is tracking your spending. Make sure you are keeping track of the gifts you are buying, and how much is spent on each gift. If you are making gifts, track the cost of the materials you are using. Try and stay within your budget limitations. That is key to avoiding debt.

Planning Ahead

Now is the time to plan for holiday gift giving.

Budgeting is all about planning for the future. And it is possible to include holiday gift giving in your year-round plans. You do not have to think about gifts only as the holidays approach. Set aside money throughout the year in a special savings account, ready to be used for the holidays. How much you save depends on your gift spending limit, as well as what you can afford after your own financial needs are met. You can also work gifts into your monthly budget, spreading the cost out over a year.

That way you will be less likely to go into debt when the time comes to buy gifts.


The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • fatal_accident_investigation

    Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • girl_child_coughing_sick_whooping_cough

    Contagious Diseases Making a Comeback in California

    Deadly diseases that were a thing of the past are making a comeback in California.

  • fuzion_store_business_santa_barbara

    UCSB Group Boycotts Business For Promoting Deltopia

    A UCSB student group is boycotting a local business for creating the Deltopia Facebook page, which they said brought in thousands of outsiders to the small college town.

  • Witnesses to Fatal Crash

    Eyewitnesses See Triple Fatal Crash from Roadside Camp

    A homeless couple watching the freeway from their campsite in Santa Barbara this morning, witnessed the triple fatal accident that took the lives of two teens and a young man.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    DUI Driver in Fatal Early Morning Accident Ordered to Detox Program in 1995

    The Santa Barbara woman arrested for DUI in the early morning accident that left three people dead early Monday morning has a lengthy court record out of Ventura County. Kimberly Kreis, 52, was ordered to serve 30 days in a detox program as far back as 1995.

    The car that Kreis was driving crashed into a disabled Mazda near the Castillo off-ramp of the southbound 101 freeway in Santa Barbara. Two 17 year old North Torrance High School students were killed in the accident- Jessica Leffew and Danielle Murillo. 20 year old Brian Lopez also died in the wreck. The driver of the Mazda, Eric August, is hospitalized in critical condition.

    A NewsChannel 3 investigation found records out of Ventrua County that appear to show that Greis has at least one prior conviction involving drugs and or alcohol, and in 1995 she was ordered to serve 30 days in a Cottage Hospital detox program.

    CHP investigators are still trying to piece together why the Mazda veered right into a guardrail, causing it to flip onto it's roof before coming to rest in the middle of the southbound freeway, which set into motion the deadly accident.

    CHP Officer Jonathan Guiterrez, said "A lot of things could have happened, He could have fallen asleep. We just don't know at this point."

  • Larry Lee Cal Poly Coach

    Cal Poly Baseball Earns No. 1 National Ranking

    The Mustangs achieved the school's second No. 1 national ranking in Division I as Collegiate Baseball Newspaper has placed Cal Poly atop its Top 30.

  • Parents of Mallory Dies Sue Congresswoman, Her Former Aide, and U.S. Government

    The parents of a young Santa Barbara woman killed in a high profile, DUI case are suing Congresswoman Lois Capps, her former aide Raymond Morua, and the U-S government in federal court.

  • Lupita Nyong'o

    REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

    People's 'World's Most Beautiful' list 2014

    People magazine recently named Lupita Nyong'o its "World's Most Beautiful" for 2014. See which other ladies earned a coveted spot on the annual list.

  • Slideshow: Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.