Make your holidays precious, not expensive

Freedom 55 Financial - Oct 15, 2020
Holiday budgeting ideas. Holidays – that special time of the year that can be both exciting and stressful. Alongside the festivities and get-togethers with friends and family, it’s also when gift-buying and organizing parties are top of mind.
Two ladies at an outside holiday market

Holidays – that special time of the year that can be both exciting and stressful. Alongside the festivities and get-togethers with friends and family, it’s also when gift-buying and organizing parties are top of mind for most people. According to a study, the vast majority of Canadian shoppers spent an average of $1,706 in 2019.1  As the holiday season gets closer, bringing it all together can get a bit overwhelming. And expensive. Here are some holiday budgeting tips to help you get a grip on your holiday spending ahead of time to save you last-minute anxiety. 

1. Set a holiday-spending limit for yourself:

Carving out a percentage of your overall budget exclusively for holiday shopping will help you stay disciplined and curb the impulse to overspend. 

2. Chunk out your holiday budget:

Once you’ve determined the total amount you want to spend on holiday purchases, you can further split it based on categories such as family, friends, co-workers, pets, etc. 

3. Start shopping early to avoid holiday spending stress and cost:

Don’t wait for the holiday season to do all your shopping. You probably already know what gifts would work best for your loved ones, based on their preferences or needs. Look for sales on these items. You could buy them months in advance. That way you’d have most of your shopping done way before the holidays, which you can then enjoy stress free. 

4. Use cash to shop:

Even after budgeting, it can be easy to overspend when shopping with credit cards. Try using cash only for your holiday purchases so you know exactly how much you’re spending and can adjust your budget accordingly. 

5. Make it about the thoughts, not the things:

A thoughtful gift need not be expensive. Consider making something with your hands – a knitted scarf, a decorative craft piece or your signature pie – for those you love. The sentiment thus conveyed would be far more precious than a costly gift you pick off a store or an online shelf. 

6. The gift of time:

On a similar note, consider giving your time to your loved ones, especially the elderly or those with limited mobility. Doing so can bring joy and satisfaction to both you and them without straining your wallet. 

As recent events have shown us, life can be unpredictable, which makes it even more precious. Rethinking holiday gift giving from a fresh perspective can not only help you begin to plan, and budget better, but also make the holiday season less stressful and more fulfilling for you. Feel free to connect with me to discuss more. 


1. Source: 2019 Deloitte holiday retail outlook; https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/ca/Documents/deloitte-private/ca-en-dp-2019-holiday-retail-outlook-aoda.pdf