Christmas is rapidly approaching and for those of you without a money tree in the garden (and if you do have one I’d love a seedling for Christmas) that means setting a Christmas budget. Since I am such a huge advocate of budgeting I have set myself a clear budget for my Christmas expenses. If you fancy doing the same here is my guide to setting a Christmas budget.

Setting a Christmas budget;

1. Set a realistic overall budget for your Christmas expenses. Use your yearly budget (and if you don’t have a yearly budget go here  to learn how to start one) and work out how much you can afford.

2. Work out your expenses. These are the categories in my budget;

  • Christmas presents immediate family, children/husband and husband to buy me.
  • Presents everyone else. I have nine people on my list as we stick to extended family only.
  • Cards and wrapping.
  • Tree and decorations.
  • Misc – for us this is taking the children to see Father Christmas and going to a Christmas show.
  • Food – though I have to say I try not to go over the top with Christmas food, it is nice to have some extras.

3. Divide your Christmas budget allowance between the categories, then you will see how much you have to spend on each area of your Christmas expenses.

4. Keep a track of your spending as you go along. I keep a running total in each category on my phone, that way as I spend I know exactly how much I have left.

So there you have it, that’s how to set a Christmas budget. I really think it’s worth sticking to a budget over Christmas, January can be a pretty gloomy month, more so if you are having to scrimp and save to pay for a Christmas you couldn’t really afford. I think the best bit about Christmas is being around family and friends and sharing love and happiness, not spending lots of money on things we don’t really need.