Budgets normally take a backseat during November and December, as consumers focus on the holidays and on finding the right gifts. January is usually left with the consequences and second thoughts, especially as it comes time to pay the bills.
Budgeting for presents, whether it’s for birthdays, weddings, or other special events can be difficult. The number of people you may shop for can grow, and some events can arise unexpectedly, making it almost impossible to budget for.
However, one way to mitigate these effects is to set aside a monthly amount for spending on gifts and to buy when things are on sale, or better yet, on clearance after the holidays. If you’re spending in the weeks leading up to a holiday, chances are you’ll be paying a lot more than if you stocked up much earlier.
While you may not want to create clutter by buying things that you don’t need, as long as they can possibly be gifted to someone you know, then it could save you the headache of having to find something to buy later.
Buying throughout the year will also help you set aside a small amount each month rather than incurring big lump sums at certain points in the year. That way you can spend more time relaxing during the holidays rather than being in a rush to buy gifts at whatever price you can get them at.
By building up an inventory of gifts you’ll also save yourself the embarrassment of being empty handed if you’ve forgotten about someone.