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October 18, 2022 6 min read

The Money Bag Newsletter by Financial Footwork




Not to be a grinch, but spending money you don’t have for the people you love just because of the holidays kinda blows. There's also so much to do with such little time, and last-minute shopping can get chaotic, not to mention the blues kicking in afterpost-impulsive shopping. 

Blowout sales, holiday parties, (don’t forget the digital parties too). Family photos, finding gifts, office happy hours, travel, decorating—your house, your friend's house, your dog’s house— the list goes on! The Holidays bring joy AND a jam-packed schedule.

With a million things on your to-do list, and more than the average spending needs— a strong plan is needed to maintain your sanity–plus it seriously helps you get through the holidays without breaking the bank!SO.. how much of my salary should I be putting towards the holidays? And how much money should I spend on presents? How do I know what I should be spending on co-workers and friends? Not sure where to start? Have no fear, we are here to help!


Christmas Budgeting Basics & Free Christmas Budget Template




First and foremost, there is no magic percentage or number that you SHOULD be spending on when it comes to purchasing holiday gifts. The holidays are not about the dollar amount spent, but it is about the thought that you put in, and the experiences being made.Yeah yeah.. you may say–it may sound cliché, but it’s very much TRUE! 

Everyone has a different financial picture. This means everyone’s holiday spending will look different. So please don’t feel pressured or obligated on what you should or could spend. There is no requirement. 

So how do you figure out how much to spend on a gift? The answer is simple. Start by looking at your yearly personal budget! What have you saved for the Holidays and how much do you want to put toward your entire Holiday budget? If you have the answer, grab ourFREE Holiday Budget Template and jump down to the 4-step Holiday Budget Guide to get started!

If you don’t have a budget or are not using it regularly,that’s okay. We encourage you to start a monthly budget and work to improve your financial game. For now, look at your income for the next couple of months. If you already have a savings account built up, what is a realistic number for your budget? Now that you have that number in your head, get our free Holiday Budget Template, and let’s get started on setting up a financial game plan for this Holiday Season!


Holiday Budget Template





How much do you have available to spend on Christmas this year? Be realistic. You do not have to break the bank to set up your Holiday budget. Be strategic and practical with where you want your Holiday money to go.

Review yourbudget, outstanding expenses, (including credit card balances), current income, and any money you’ve put away for the Holiday Season. Your Holiday budget should be a number that works for your financial life. 

For example, if $500 is going to break the bank and put you in debt,change your budget and lower your available spending limit. Don’t put yourself in a financial bind over gifts. That is financially one of the worst choices you can make, and no one wants that and neither does your loved ones. 


Holiday Gifting & Budgeting



Common Holiday spending mistakes may sound like common knowledge, but it happens more than we would like to admit, and trust me, almost all of us have been there at least once before. 

We know there is guilt around the holidays if you cannot have the newest, best, and brightest for your family and friends. Trust me, I want to do that too! I love giving gifts and celebrating with family and friends. Don’t ever let the fear or guilt of gifting get in the way of you taking care of yourself financially, it lends to a better life and allows you to do more next Holiday season.

Work with what you’ve got! Maintaining your financial health by using your Holiday Budget.


Free Holiday Budget Template



Map out where every single Holiday dollar will go! 

Your budget for the Holidays doesn't just apply to gifts. There are plenty of things to consider when setting your holiday budget. We’ve broken your budget into 3 main categories:

  • Gifting 
  • Wrapping supplies/Shipping costs
  • Meals, Entertainment & Travel

Each category listed above has multiple line items to help you remember all of the costs that might come up during this Holiday Season. What events will you be going to? Who is on your purchasing gift list? Are you traveling or hosting any parties? How about shipping packages to a friend?

Fill in your budget with the gifts, events, and things you want and plan to do this Holiday season! 

Now, using the spending limit you set in step 1, start assigning your available dollars to each category on your budget. 

Le Voila! We have a Holiday Budget in the making. Woooh! 


Budgeting Planner from Financial Footwork



Shopping lists are crucial, and when we do skip the typical holiday gift listing remedy- we always end up forgetting something! Sigh. 

Here’s a personal hack of mine—> I have an ongoing Holiday Gift List on your phone.  That way, if I come up with a great gift idea in April, I can remember what it is in November/December. Technology is brilliant… most of the time! 

Use your budget when looking through your customized categories implemented in your to-do list, and use it as a resource when referencing back to your estimated budget guide this Holiday Season!

Here are a few more tips/questions to help you start your gift-giving and shopping list: 

First, ask yourself who you want to purchase gifts for. 

  • Begin by making a list with everyone on it that you would like to gift and start thinking about the best gift options for that person. 

Are you going to any holiday gatherings? Do you need a hostess gift? A new outfit? Are you bringing a meal to a holiday party

  • Start writing down the things that you’d need for any holiday/Season events you will attend.
Holiday Travel with the Dog


Travel during the Holidays, double whammy! Will you be traveling? Driving or Flying?

  • Look at your travel plans and start estimating the price for your travel, food, lodging, rental cars, etc. 



    You’ve made your budget, now you have to see it through. That means updating your budget each time you make a purchase!

    Tracking your spending will keep you on pace to stay at or below your spending limit and show you what you have left to work with if things change with any of your Holiday plans.

    Life happens--so if you need to move funds around in your budget, do it! If something gets canceled or a gift amount comes in a little lower, adjust your numbers and move things around. That will give you a bit of freedom with your Holiday budget as you move through the season. 

    *Pro Tip*

    Keep your budget in your sights, review it at least one to two times a week.  Get creative with recipes, gift-giving, donations, and holiday events. There are always ways to DIY your Holiday plans and keep your budget in check.



    Here’s how:

    • Set your spending limit
    • Get that exact amount in cash from the bank
    • Using your Holiday budget, set up your budget per gift or person.

    and then track track track what you buy! Check each gift off your list & budget as you get it. Stay on top of your spending, keep your budget in check, and have a stress-free holiday season. 


    Financial Freedom with Coach Hill on YouTube




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