Money Moves

Money Moves

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How to Stick to a Last-Minute Holiday Shopping Budget

You probably have a lot on your mind, so gifts may have fallen a little off the radar. But sticking to your gift buying budget, even at the last minute, can help you feel a little less stressed as you take on the other responsibilities of the season.

Here are a few tips for staying on track as you finish your holiday shopping:

Make your list.

Make sure you have a comprehensive list of people (and check it twice) so you can create a clearly defined budget.

We recommend jotting down your list, ideas, budget and spending all in one place (like a spreadsheet) to help you stay on track.

Set a per-person limit.

Seriously overspending on one person is a quick way to throw off the rest of your budget, and it can be easy at the last minute. It can help to set a limit for each person, whether this means allotting $50 to everyone or setting individual limits for each person. After all, you might want to spend a little more on your immediate family or your spouse.

Do your research.

Search for better prices, coupons and deals. The internet offers lots of opportunity to compare potential gifts and find the best place. Doing your research as soon as possible can give you the time to order online or get to a store that has the best deal.

Consider DIY gifts.

DIY gifts can help you save time and free up space in your budget. A homemade craft or baked good can show someone how much you care without breaking the bank. These can also take the place of the impulse purchases that tend to happen as the holiday approaches. 

Be flexible.

Sure, budgets are meant to be followed, but it’s okay to make changes as needed. Whether you spend a little more or a little less than you expect on someone, you can simply readjust your budget. Just be sure you’re total budget doesn’t change.


You can still stick to a budget even as the holidays get closer. And remember that Purdue Federal Visa credit cardholders can earn extra points per $1 spent. You can learn more here about earning extra rewards or applying for a credit card.

The information and topics featured are for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax or financial advice. All financial situations and circumstances are different and may not apply to the specific information provided. Seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant, or legal counsel to obtain guidance specific to your needs.