When it’s the Christmas period, getting in the spirit of giving makes it easy to go a little overboard money-wise. The best way to avoid overspending this holiday season is by being organised, it’s really never too early to start planning. Here are our tips to avoid going over budget:

Holiday Shopping Tips

Create a Shopping List

Seems like an obvious step to take, but forgetting someone or something from your list happens to the best of us. Write down every person you want to buy a gift for – family, friends, co-workers, and pets – if you’ve thought enough about it, also include what it is you’re getting them (or your gift ideas). This makes it easy for you to track every recipient and who is left to buy for as you tick them off. Having your list done early means if you find an item on sale before you officially start shopping, you can grab it, save some cash and consider it taken care of. It also helps prevent you from missing anyone so you don’t have to go through those awkward family dinners.

Shopping List for Food

This is more for if you’re planning to host a gathering that requires catering. Most guests will expect an abundance of food (especially at Christmas) and the meat alone adds up quickly! Consider the size of the event and the number of people attending. Of course, it helps if you’ve got confirmation of guests attending so you don’t overspend, but on the flipside – if you have leftover food you’ll be fed for a while afterwards!

Include holiday shopping in budget

Assuming you’re spending within a budget, look at it and consider where you can cut or divert funds to a section dedicated for Christmas shopping. This way, when you’re handing over bulk amounts of money for presents and food, you don’t find yourself short in other areas. It also helps once you’ve got your list, you can get a vague idea of how much you’ll need to put away.

Search and shop online

Well this is a tip that can be for all your holiday shopping needs, whether for food, gifts or decorations. Head online to get an estimate on your grocery list and then adjust your savings accordingly. You can then do the same with presents, and compare prices to find the cheapest retailer. If you’re early enough, you can get your gift shopping done online and shipped to you with plenty of time to spare.

Don’t get caught out doing last minute shopping and paying more than necessary. Follow a plan and be prepared this holiday shopping season and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy without worrying about maxed out cards or bills you’ve put off.