With multiple birthdays of friends and family, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter there’s plenty of special occasions to budget for throughout the year. Finding the best gifts, cards and chocolate deals on the market can be tricky, so here are some top tips of how to keep giving but save at the same time.
Set a flexible budget
Setting an unrealistic budget can actually do more harm than good, so by setting a flexible budget you can ensure there’s a little wiggle room just in case a new colleague has a birthday you didn’t know about! There are so many great budgeting apps out there to help you keep a track of what you’re spending and when. There are also great money saving articles.
Whatever you do, don’t pick random numbers out on thin air, think about what the people in your life like to be gifted. For example does your Mum like expensive skin care or perfume? If you want to treat her to her favourite make sure you budget ahead so you know you can afford it, after all, your Mum’s birthday date is never going to change!
Cut back on treats for yourself
I’m not suggesting you never treat yourself at all, because that would be silly, but think about cutting back on treats for yourself around important birthdays and Christmas for example. By doing so, you’ll have a little more money in the pot to treat all those important in your life to the gifts they truly like.
I’d recommend cutting back on those delicious Starbucks Gingerbread and Eggnog Latte’s that come out around Christmas and pop that money away into a separate pot for gifts. These cost around £3.15 for a short – have five of those a week and you’re racking up a whopping £15.75! This money could easily go towards one of those great chocolate deals for friends or family members.
Adopt the Secret Santa method for your gift giving
Buying for everyone in your family can often be tough. Not only from a ‘deciding what to buy’ perspective, but it can become very expensive very quickly! Why not pop everyone’s names into a hat and apply the Secret Santa methodology to help you all keep costs down. Set a maximum amount you’re allowed to spend on your chosen person and head to the shops. This will not only save you on money, you may actually be able to get that person exactly what they want.
Budgeting for all the special occasions throughout the year can be tough, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it can become a less expensive and certainly a lot less stressful.
This is a contributed post.