Date: Posted on Category: Blog Tips, Lifestyle

fashion blogger jessica wang wears paris texas boots and shares her budgeting tips to control your holiday shopping //

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Whether you’re an extremely early holiday shopper (as in your shopping list is half-way done by now) or prefer to shop at the last minute, there is no denying that this time of year can put a huge strain on your wallet. Tis the season to give back to your loved ones, but it’s important to not put too much financial pressure on yourself. This year, I plan to be extremely strategic about my gift giving endeavors – because if I’m being honest, I def went overboard last year. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing my usual series of gift ideas, but first, I wanted to dish out my top budgeting tips for holiday shopping to help ensure you shop responsibly.

fashion blogger jessica wang wears express leather jacket and stripe trousers //

Know Your Disposable Income & Shop Accordingly

The holidays are filled with so much joy, so I know it might seem like a nuisance to sit down and calculate your finances. However, this part is critical in ensuring you are keeping yourself in check with your spending habits this season.

Gift giving aside, I highly recommend you go through this exercise to calculate your disposable income.

Start with your average monthly income and subtract any overhead (rent, bills, food, retirement fund, healthcare, savings, etc.). Don’t skip the savings portion because you should always pay yourself first. Once all your monthly expenses are removed, the amount left is your disposable income. This is the money you can play with and put towards holiday gifts.

fashion blogger jessica wang goes shoe shopping in nyc and shares her budgeting tips to control your holiday shopping //

Start a Christmas Fund

We’re well into the beginning of November, so this is the perfect time to start setting aside a Christmas fund. Take a percentage of your disposable income and put it aside for gifts. You can stash these funds in a separate account or simply just keep a running tab of how much needs to be saved from each paycheck. Most importantly, hold yourself accountable! These preliminary steps are key for budgeting your holiday spending.

Create a List

Next, I like to sit down and organize my gift giving into an easy, digestible list. Whether you prefer pen and paper or need to open a fresh excel document, start by laying out every person you are gifting a present to this season. From there, allocate how much you are willing to spend on each person. Throughout the season, I like to update this list as I purchase presents and shift my funds around accordingly. This list also acts as a really great shopping list!

In addition to people, I also like to budget for other holiday related spending. This includes, but is not limited to, decorations, lights, food for hosting parties, drinks and clothing. It is so easy to fall under the pressures of retail stores and email ads. Trust me though – setting a budget really makes you question if you really need another cheesy nutcracker for your mantle.

fashion blogger jessica wang wears blue manolo blahnik pumps and shares her budgeting tips to control your holiday shopping //

Know When To Shop

Sales and deals have already started kicking off, so keep your eyes peeled and don’t cave into every event that pops up. And before buying something in stores, always check prices online. From my experience, you’ll typically find the best deals during the week of Thanksgiving (Black Friday week into Cyber Monday) and right before Christmas. The trick to managing your budget and resisting all the great deals during a high-pressure week like Black Friday is to stick to the list you made above.

Opt for Gifts That Look Luxe Without The Price Tag

One of my favorite budgeting tips for holiday shopping is to grab pieces that look more luxe than they cost. Beauty gift sets, candles, and fragrances are foolproof and always feel expensive. In most cases, you can snag a designer set for under $100. Little home trinkets, like jewelry boxes and dishes or glassware (also love this one and it’s on sale!), are practical, beautiful and affordable too. I love shopping at Anthropologie for these things!

Suggest Secret Santa

I’ll be honest, I feel like gift giving is getting a bit ridiculous every year especially when you have a huge family with tons of nieces and nephews – or even a big circle of friends. In that event, don’t be afraid to come forward and suggest Secret Santa. With Secret Santa, you’re definitely bound to spend less and still receive a gift. If your budget is especially tight, you can set a predetermined budget for that one gift too.

This isn’t the most exciting of posts, but I promise these steps will be a complete game changer for you this season. Succumbing to frivolous spending during this time of year is incredibly hard to resist. However, knowing your budget and having a plan on how to spend it prevents you from going too overboard.

What budgeting tips for holiday shopping do you go by?

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