Generosity Series: Part 2 – Budgeting for Holiday Gift Giving

Surprise, it’s that time of year again!  Time to start thinking through giving gifts for the holidays.  Holiday gift giving can be a real budget killer.  Let’s face it, it’s really easy to overspend to show others you love them by giving them gifts.  In today’s world of larger, more extended family units it can be difficult to draw the boundary lines on who you actually bless with a gift and who you do not.

Ideally, gifts will have been in your budget since January 1.  If it was not then let’s go over how to budget for gift giving during the holidays.  It can be a real eye opener, I encourage you to literally list the names of people you intend to give a gift to this year.  By the time you include everyone, this list may be much longer than you realized.  Once you have the list, assign a total amount you would like to spend on all gift giving.  Now, allocate an amount from that total to each person’s name.  Now that you have a budget by person it’s important to not go over that total.  It could be your list is very long or you don’t have the budget you thought you did.  So, in the interest of your budget and likely the budgets of others around you, it could be good to see if your family and friends would like to opt for drawing names (where everyone’s name goes into a hat and you each draw just one name and buy a gift for just that person) or limiting the quantity/cost of gifts per person.  That way there is a consensus on expectations across the board.  Don’t let the holidays be a strain on your finances, nobody that loves you wants that as a result.

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