It is That Time Of Year again folks. For those of us who have been eating healthy and exercising, hooo boy we might be over indulging in some sweets. It’s holiday time. As Vinnie Tortorich says, it isn’t what you eat between Christmas and New Year’s, it’s what you eat between New Year’s and Christmas.

If I’m being honest, it really started on Thanksgiving. But the same principle applies.

BUT today I’m not talking about food, I’m talking about money. M O N E Y. Your budget and Christmas shopping. If you’ve been doing a budget all year (and you have, haven’t you???) then this is what you’ve been training for. You do NOT want to bust your budget now, not when we’ve done so good all year long.So what is the plan? How do we do this?

Here are the steps – assuming we are doing our shopping at the mall, though you can make adjustments to the steps below for online shopping.


  1. Decide exactly WHO you are going to buy for. I don’t care if it’s 50 people or 5 people. It’s your money, your life, and your circle of friends and family. YOU get to decide.
  2. Write those names down on an envelope.
  3. Write a number beside each name on that envelope – again, you get to decide. $20? $50? $200 by my name? LOL. Your choice.
  4. Add up the numbers and stuff the envelope with that amount of cash. Only buy gifts when you have cash to pay for it. And stop making excuses, no one is going to mug you in the mall. Shop with a friend and be aware.
  5. Be sure to allow for any expenses like eating out during your trip.
  6. Now’s the time to shop. Whoo hoo! The fun stuff! Enjoy the process. Look for deals. Ask for cash discounts. When you buy a gift for someone on the list, write down how much you spent next to their name. Obviously you can’t go over the amount you said you were going to spend.

That’s it! If you follow these steps, you won’t bust your budget. Notice that at no time did I say you can’t spend money. Just make sure the amounts you allocate in step 3 align with the rest of your budget for the month. Happy Shopping!