How to use a cash envelope budgeting system to budget for holiday gifts?
It can be easy to be blinded by all the deals, sales, and promotions going on during the holiday season. Especially at the end of such a tumultuous year, it can be incredibly tempting to throw our holiday budgets out of the window – especially when holiday gift shopping for others.
Our family and friends deserve to be celebrated and thanks for sticking by our sides during a long year, but that doesn’t mean carefully assembled financial plans should go by the wayside (no matter how many gifts you find that are absolutely perfect for someone on your list). Luckily, there are several budgeting systems you can use to keep your wallet (and mind) on track when rounding out your final gifts for the holiday season.
One of these is the cash envelope budgeting method, which is easy to implement when saving for a given goal like holiday gifts. Using this budgeting strategy, you use cash envelopes (like these printable cash envelope options) to save for a goal: in this case, holiday gifts. You save until you’ve reached either a savings goal or a savings deadline, after which you spend the money on its intended purpose.
Using this method, the temptation to go over budget is all but removed, because once the money for gifts is gone, it’s gone. This also provides a lesson in money management for kids, as they can easily see the value of saving for a given goal and how rewarding it is to then use the money for that goal—a valuable personal finance tip at any age.
You can also turn saving into an interactive holiday family activity, where everyone contributes a few dollars every week and then gets a turn in what to buy for loved ones. Using a printable budget sheet, you can keep track of everyone’s contributions, how much you’ve saved, and how much more you want to save.
This is a great way to ensure you can get everyone on your list a gift they deserve, but remember that the holiday season isn’t about budgeting and gift-giving—it’s about celebrating a special season with those you love the most. Hold your reason for celebrating close this year, gifts aside!