If you are someone who’s determined to stick to a budget in order to help you reach your financial goals, having unexpected expenses pop up can be a real headache. What can make this headache worse is if these expenses weren’t actually unexpected at all, just something that you hadn’t thought to plan for. Something that often falls into this category is gifts. So to help ensure that you never have to scrape together money for a gift ever again, here are three tips for creating a budget for gifts throughout the year.
Know What Gifts Are Worth Giving
Before you can begin planning how much you should be budgeting for gifts, it’s good to have an idea of how many gifts you plan to be giving each year. From national holidays to birthday and anniversaries, you may be giving out a number of gifts each month. And while things like anniversary gift giving shouldn’t really be skipped, there likely are people who can be skipped when it comes to offering them a gift. According to Dave Ramsey, there are a few simple questions you can ask yourself to help determine if you should really be giving someone a gift for something like Christmas or their birthday. In general, if you’re not very close to the person, it’s perfectly fine to realize that you’re sticking to a budget and can’t afford to be buying a present for every person you’ve ever met.
Create Realistic Plans
Once you know about how many gifts you’ll likely be giving each year, it’s time to create a plan or budget for how you’re going to afford all these gifts. According to Laura Williams, a contributor to Money Crashers, it’s important to be honest with yourself and create a realistic plan for yourself. If you simply can’t afford to save any money, be honest with your loved one that giving them a gift just isn’t a possibility this year. There are plenty of other ways to show someone that you care other than having to buy them something expensive. In fact, they might be relieved that gift giving is off the table, since many people feel anxiety thinking about having to find the perfect gift for someone. So always err on the side of honesty when making a plan for your gift giving budget.
Be Prepared For the Unexpected or Forgotten
For those who can afford to save a certain amount each month for gift throughout the year, Miriam Caldwell, a contributor to The Balance, suggests that you save a little extra for those gifts that might be unexpected or forgotten. By doing this, you’ll ensure that you don’t blow your budget when a birthday party comes up or you get invited to a wedding.
If you’ve struggled with budgeting for gifts in the past, consider using the tips mentioned above to help gift giving become easier in the future.