Holiday Cash Crunch – How to Avoid It!

The holidays are creeping up on us again; If you’re anything like me, you started this year out with the good intention or purchasing or making a few gifts each month as you went along throughout the year. However, there always seems to be something that happens when you’re busy making plans…
Life. You know what I mean, an appliance breaks down, the furnace clogs and has to be cleaned, your child lost one of his brand new shoes in a mud hole and suddenly you have to shell out another $15-20 for new ones.

Perhaps you are already ahead of the game, you put a lot of effort into planning the holidays and you manages to pick up a few gifts along the way. If not, don’t fret, your starting in the right place.


1. Make a List of everyone that you plan on giving a gift to this year. (Sometimes it helps to plan for two extras: One gal, & One guy) Did you ever notice when you make a nice list, someone always gets forgotten?!

2. Go down through your list and determine whether the gift should be a personal (individual) gift or a family gift.

For instance, for your own children you would choose personal gifts, but when choosing a gift for a neighbor’s child, you might choose a family gift for the household to enjoy.)

3. For each person/ family, jot down a few things that the recipient enjoys. For instance, a hobby, their occupation, are they athletic, do they have a tendency to pamper their pets, etc.

4. You’re almost done. Now comes the tough part. You need to determine a dollar amount that you plan to spend this holiday season. Once you come up with a grand total, then go down through your list and plug in numbers.

For instance, you might spend $25 on your Parents, $50 on your children, $5 on a neighbor, etc. Be as realistic as possible, and do not allow for gifts on your credit card. To avoid the Holiday Crunch (and the months of regret that follow) I’m going to show you how to give gifts you can afford.

5. If you’ve completed everything above, you’re doing wonderfully. You now have a complete list of WHO you need gifts for, What They Like (half the battle), How much money you can afford for their gift, now all you have to do is decide what to give them.


1. Dylan — Individual— crafts, plants, computers, art, books — $5. — Gift: Craft Kit

2. Kathy— Individual— Gambling, Accountant, always has nice nails– $5– Gift: Casino Survival Kit & Manicure Gift basket

In order to make this project even easier for you, here are Free Printable Holiday Organizer and Full Holiday budget planner:holiday-cash-crunch-how-to-avoid-it

Free Printable Holiday Organizer:
this is a simple rendition of the holiday planner to make it easier to choose gifts and have an idea of who to add to your Christmas list.

Free Organizer # 2: Here is another Free Printable Holiday Organizer in Fall Colors

Plan for items such as entertainment, holiday meals for family gatherings, holiday photos, traveling, gift packaging and more

Once you have made your list, it is quite easy to come up with inexpensive gift ideas that fit each person or family. Just think, you could create gifts for your entire list for less than $100 this year.

View Gift Ideas by Category
300+ Stocking Stuffer Ideas for all Ages

About Liss 4069 Articles
Melissa Burnell, known to her friends and fans as "Liss," grew up in Southern Maine, now residing in sunny South Carolina. As a busy Wife, Mother of two sons, an avid photographer, and self-employed entrepreneur, Liss understands the value of both time and money.


  1. i printed out the page, now to use it. my biggest problem is most of those i “gift” live over 2000 miles away. I usually just send a gift card.

    I use what I would spend on postage to increase the size of the card. I simply do not know what they would like.

    • I printed out the page, now to use it. My biggest problem is most of those I “gift” live over 2000 miles away. I usually just send a gift card.

      I use what I would spend on postage to increase the size of the card. I simply do not know what they would like.

      I know what you mean. My grandchildren are in their earl 20’s and I am pretty strapped this year ( oh, heck, every year).

      This year two of my grandaughters are receiving 3×5 pic,s of their other grandmother who has passed away. One of them told my daughter-in-law (their stepmother) that they did not have any good pictures of their grandma or of their parents when they were young. I am making 3×5’s of grandma and a photo collage of their parents when they were younger on my computer using my Corel Photo Album 7 app.

      I still am giving some gift cards because some of them expect and want them. I am always pleased, when I can give at least some of them something more personal.

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