This morning, one day after Halloween was over, I got an email from my sister. The email was sent to our entire family, establishing a plan for sharing gift ideas for Christmas. Two weeks before that, my little brother also sent an email with the same inquiry. Our family loves the holidays. We also really enjoy shopping for each other. Some families consistently shop on Christmas Eve, and others on the day after Thanksgiving. Some spend hundreds of dollars on each other, and others make handmade gifts.
My family’s holiday spending habits are a reflection of our money personalities. We are all fairly wise with our finances, but when it comes to gifts, we all like to spend. I am a lover of coupons and sales, and will get up before the sun on Black Friday to join crowds of shoppers vying for deals.
My parents are planners, often using “the envelope system” to budget for gift-giving season. Everyone handles money differently, but we can all learn to adapt. Over the years, I have learned to plan more, to make a budget for Christmas gifts. I now spend a relatively equal amount of money on each family member.
Because I budget, I can enjoy the gift giving process even more. I don’t have buyer’s remorse for buying gifts for my family. Have you made a budget for this year’s holiday shopping? Creating a budget will make this season less stressful and more enjoyable. Plus, you’ll be able to plan your other spending around the spending you anticipate happening anyway.
So go get a pad of paper, digital budgeting app, or stack of blank envelopes. Make that budget, and have a happy—and financially healthy—start to the holiday season.
Want to know more about money personalities? Check out our entire episode on the subject: “What’s Your Money Personality?”