How to Budget for the 2017 Holiday Season

The holiday season can be an enjoyable time of year. People are decorating their homes, chopping down fresh Christmas trees, and making their wish list for Santa. You can assume everyone would be in the holiday cheer, but for some people, the challenge of buying presents looms large.

“It’s difficult to shop for everyone. Every year, sometimes, I feel like my list gets bigger. I get overwhelmed,” a Target customer at the Gateway Center in Brooklyn, Raenna Fukushima, from Bay Ridge said. “I appreciate my friends and family, and I want to get them something that is amazing, but I’m somehow always on a tight budget.”

Target offered several Black Friday deals and it was crowded as consumers maneuvered through the aisles.

Photo Courtesy of

“The hard part is finding the perfect gift,” Raenna said. “Sometimes you find the best sale items but the size is off, or you end up just giving up altogether because it gets crazy in some sections of the store.” So, how do people manage to budget their holiday shopping?

People who have the patience wait until Cyber Monday instead of hustling through Black Friday deals. And, for Target shoppers, Cyber Monday this year will continue all week long. The store will be offering different deals each day. And for consumers, like Raenna, this helps a lot.

“The only way I can get through the holiday season is by making a list. I start around September and by mid-November, I’m ready to go,” Raenna mentioned before heading to the checkout line. “The best advice I could give for those who are on a tight budget this year is: make a list, put money aside for gifts, and think outside the box. Nothing has to be generic.”

Here are five suggestions to help budget this holiday season:

1. List everyone you want to shop for.

Bloggers, Ashton and Shea of Million Ways to Mother suggested and made a Holiday Budget Planner. It’s printable! Use it to list everyone you want to shop for (friends, relatives, teachers, pets, etc.)


Printable Version, Millions Ways to Mother for FREE!


2. Look at your budget and determine how much you can afford. 


3. Divide your gift budget based on the people on your list.

Mom, dad, and grandma should be a priority. Your co-worker that sits next to you – eh, may not be. Look at who comes first before buying.


4. Get creative!

Don’t think about what looks cute or cheap. Think outside the box. Be creative. Sometimes the best gifts that are handmade or bought from a local mom-and-pop shop are the best options. (For example; or Blogger, Desiree at

Handmade Items


100 handmade gifts.png
Photo Courtesy of 

5. Make sure to track your spending.

The best way to not go overboard is to track what you are spending. Don’t throw out receipts. Tally up how much you’ve spent so far. This will help to give you an idea of how much you have left. You may have extra money for last minute gifts. 


Holiday Headquarters National Retail Federation (2)
Graph Chart by National Retail Federation


Don’t make this holiday season hectic. For more tips and tricks about holiday spending this season, check out our favorite hotspot, Pinterest. Pin and share your favorite ideas.


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