What to Do If You’ve Already Blown Your Christmas Budget

Where are my shoppers at? My big spenders. My Christmas-spirit spreaders.

If you’re a spender like me, you know how tempting (and fun!) this time of year can be. Sometimes it takes every ounce of self-control I can muster not to snag just one more gift while I’m out and about—especially with two little girls at home who make everything about the holidays more precious than ever before.

Most of the time I manage to walk away (it’s taken a lot of practice). But every few years I find myself halfway through December and already blowing my Christmas budget.

Thankfully, I have a few tricks up my sleeve for setting things right. And I’m happy to share them with you guys.

  1. Take it back. That’s right. March yourself into the store where you busted your budget. Bring a receipt along and offer a brief explanation for your return if asked.
  2. Get creative. You returned a gift. That means you’ll either leave one friend or family member empty-handed on Christmas or you’ll have to think outside the box. You might try gifting:
  • An experience that emphasizes time together over money spent.
  • A homemade treat from your own kitchen. Check out this video if you want some ideas!
  • Coupons for services like cooking, cleaning or babysitting—these make great stocking stuffers!

Remember the cardinal budgeting rule: When the money is gone, it’s gone!

  1. Say no to more gifts. Remember the cardinal budgeting rule: When the money is gone, it’s gone! So don’t even tempt yourself. Stay away from your favorite stores and turn off the one-click option on Amazon.
  2. Commit to a fresh start. There’s too much fun to be had during the holiday season, so say goodbye to guilt and hello to a new Christmas-you. Instead of shopping, drive around and look at lights, watch a seasonal movie with your kids, or volunteer your time to help someone in need.

So, go ahead and breathe a sigh of relief as we hop back on the nice list together!

For more tips on how to save money, course-correct when you make a mistake, and avoid those mistakes in the future, sign up for my newsletter.