Every year, I make a list. I am a list maker. I make lists for everything; things to do, things to buy, gift ideas. You name it, I list it. And so every year I have a Christmas list of all the gifts I plan to buy and a tentative budget of what I want to spend. It keeps me organized and sane. And it keeps the stress away, sort of.
This year, while I have a list it is not very organized. At least not as organized as I usually have my lists. For starters, I am not sure what gifts I am getting the kids, so the list is very long and very general. Also, there is no budget this year. I will try not to go crazy and overspend but I am not keeping track of what everything costs. This can be dangerous to my wallet. I wanted to go crazy with my holiday decor, just not with my spending. Let me explain.
In years past, I have tried sticking to a budget. Something reasonable for four growing kids. That is how I usually narrow down what gifts I plan to get for the kids. I pick a few items from their lists that fit into that budget and go from there.
I find, however, that as my kids get older it gets harder to stick to a specific budget. So my method this year is to try and get the gifts my kids really want while trying not to overbuy but without being too rigid on the prices.
I will still stick to a general list and of course, track prices after items are bought just to give me an idea of how much I spent overall. But this will be an interesting year for sure.
For starters, we have Amazon at our fingertips and have been doing a lot of online shopping. However, I do plan on hitting up a few stores to get in on the amazing black Friday and month long sales that are going on. My goal is to be done Christmas shopping by the first week of December. Wish me luck.