13 Smart Christmas Shopping Tips to Help You Stick to a Budget

Feature | woman with shopping bags | Smart Christmas Shopping Tips To Help You Stick To A Budget
The Christmas shopping season is finally here! Be a smart shopper and read on to learn how to save money on Christmas gifts with these shopping tips!

RELATED: 17 High Tech Christmas Decorations To Get Into the Festive Holiday Season

How To Christmas Shop On A Budget


1. Make A List of What You Will Spend On

woman with shopping list | Smart Christmas Shopping Tips To Help You Stick To A Budget

Before anything else, create a list of what you’re planning to spend on during the holiday season. Make it a detailed one by breaking it down into specific expenses, such as:

  • Gifts
  • Vacation
  • Food
  • Decorations

You’ll also need to consider who you intend to give Christmas gifts to. Don’t be afraid to trim the list down if needed. Having a ready list also allows you to shop for your family and friends during sale events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It may not be a popular idea, but you can actually do your Christmas shopping at any time of the year.

If you do opt to shop early for Christmas presents, make sure you keep tabs of what you bought for whom. This way, you’ll avoid mix-ups and buying multiple gifts for one person.

2. Set Your Christmas Spending Limit

Don’t let your emotions get the best of you during the holiday season. Set a spending limit for all your holiday expenses and stick to it. It’s best to consider your cash on hand, or how much of your savings you’re willing to spend for the holidays. Remember that Christmas gifts aren’t the only things you will spend on this season.

By setting a limit, you can also budget how much you’ll spend on each expense. The same goes for your Christmas presents. You can keep your spending to a minimum and give more gifts, or trim down your list so you can spend more for each person.

Christmas shopping on a budget may seem challenging and limiting. But instead of thinking this way, let it bring out your creativity instead. That being said, always be on the lookout for opportunities to cut down your expenses!

3. Use The Amazon Price Tracker

woman doing shopping online | Smart Christmas Shopping Tips To Help You Stick To A Budget

If you’re planning to do a lot of online Christmas shopping, make sure you’re buying the best Christmas deals. The Amazon Price Tracker will help you do just that. If you have the Amazon app, the Price Tracker will keep tabs on your shopping list and notify you when product prices drop.

First, search for the products you want to purchase, then add them to your Tracklist. Initially, the app will display the same current and previous prices. But once the price drops on a product, the amount will change and the app will notify you.

The Amazon Price Tracker also has several other useful features:

  • Target Price — You can set a target price for each item on your shopping list. If the price of a product goes below the amount you set, the app will notify you. This feature also limits the notifications you receive from Amazon Price Tracker.
  • Price History — This will show you how the product’s prices have changed from the time you added it on your Tracklist.
  • Buy Now — Use this feature when you are ready to make the purchase. Clicking it will redirect you to the product on Amazon.

Android users can download the Amazon Price Tracker app on Google Play. For iOS users, a similar app is available called Price Alert. Both Android and iOS users can opt to have the Free or Pro version of the app.

4. Plan Where You Will Shop

Aside from planning what you will purchase, you also need to carefully consider where you will do your Christmas shopping. If you’re planning to shop in-store, go for discount stores. Getting discounted items can help you stick to your budget better, especially if you’re buying a lot.

If you will do all your Christmas shopping online, the Amazon Price Tracker app is a huge help. You can also canvas for Christmas gifts in online stores like:

5. Do Your Christmas Shopping Earlier

woman holding two shopping bags | Smart Christmas Shopping Tips To Help You Stick To A Budget

As mentioned, you can actually do your Christmas shopping at any time of the year. Starting early will also let you catch a lot of sale events where you can get items on discount. The best part is, you won’t have to dive into the Christmas rush with everyone else. Getting your Christmas shopping done earlier will save you from stressing out once the holiday season starts.

Commit to sticking to your budget and spending less this year by not paying full price for your Christmas gifts. Buy each item on your list on sale!

6. Use Cash When Shopping

It may be more convenient to shop using your credit card, but if you want to stick to your Christmas budget, pay in cash. It’s more difficult to keep track of your spending when you use your credit card. Not to mention, you’ll have to keep all your order confirmations and official receipts if you don’t want your bill to surprise you.

Remember the spending limit you set for yourself? Make sure you have that kind of money on hand. In this way, you’ll be able to immediately see how much you’re taking from it with each purchase. You’ll have yourself to thank when you get through the holiday season without any debt.

RELATED: How To Make Christmas Card Labels

7. Track Your Christmas Spending

woman making online payment | Smart Christmas Shopping Tips To Help You Stick To A Budget

If you really want to monitor your Christmas budget, find apps that will help you keep track of your spending. You can put in your spending limit and your budget for each expense. Then, when you spend something, take note of how much you paid for it. This way, you can monitor if you’re under or overspending.

Also, don’t forget to keep track of miscellaneous spending. These are unplanned expenses that may cause you to go beyond your spending limit. If you want to avoid this, set aside an amount in your budget for miscellaneous expenses.

8. Go On Shopping Trips Alone

Going on shopping trips alone will help you stick to your budget better. Avoid shopping with impulsive buyers, even if they are your family or friends. They are likely to influence you to spend on items you don’t need and are not within your budget. Stay on the safe side and avoid having other people convince you to spend your money on unnecessary purchases.

9. Go For Gift Exchanges

two women exchanging gifts | Smart Christmas Shopping Tips To Help You Stick To A Budget

Another way to enjoy Christmas on a budget is to encourage gift exchanges. By doing this, you can spend on only one person, but everyone still gets a present. Opting to do a Secret Santa gift exchange will help everyone save money on Christmas gifts. Instead of giving everyone in your family or office gifts that are less meaningful, you can focus on giving the best gift for one person.

10. Give Combined Presents

One of the Christmas shopping tips that not a lot of people may practice is giving combined presents to two or several people. For instance, if most of your friends are married couples, you can give them one present they can both enjoy. If you have a lot of relatives, give each family a gift that all members can use.

This will trim down your Christmas shopping list and still let you give presents to everyone you want to get something for. Not only will it save you time, but it could also lessen your shopping expenses.

11. Give DIY Gifts

santa christmas letter | Smart Christmas Shopping Tips To Help You Stick To A Budget

A great way to save money on Christmas presents is by making them instead of buying them. If you have craft or cooking skills you can show off, use those to create gifts for your family and friends.

Tech Made Easy

DIY gifts may take more time to prepare, but they will be worth it. People tend to appreciate handcrafted gifts more, as they convey your thoughtfulness and the effort you put in giving.

12. Buy Extra Christmas Gifts

Last-minute Christmas parties are not uncommon. Often, you also have to bring a gift or two for these occasions. Making impulse purchases for these events can throw your budget off.

One way you can avoid this is by buying extra Christmas gifts. Opt for generic but still useful items that will fit any recipient, even you (in case you end up not gifting them). You can use your miscellaneous expense fund to purchase these gifts in case they’re not part of your original Christmas shopping list.

13. Avoid Spending On Yourself

woman beauty shop | Smart Christmas Shopping Tips To Help You Stick To A Budget

This is one of the most important Christmas shopping tips you need to stick to if you’re on a budget. Remember, you’re shopping for other people and not yourself. It’s easy to get tempted when you find something you’ve been wanting to purchase, and on sale, too! But don’t let yourself fall for the “I deserve this” mentality.

Instead, when you find something you want, add it to your Christmas wish list. This way, you can let others buy it for you and avoid spending for the item yourself. If no one buys it for you, you can always go back for it after the holidays. Chances are, it will still be available and on sale.

Check out this video from The Budgeting Wife:

Even if you’re on a budget, you can definitely still enjoy your Christmas shopping! By following these Christmas shopping tips, you can get everything you need for the holiday season without breaking the bank.

What budget shopping tips have you found effective? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

Up Next: 

Click to rate this post!



1 Comment

  1. Megan

    I can’t stress enough on how important it is to set a budget.