In today’s economy and with Christmas approaching, we are getting some ideas on how to make the most of our budget. 

“Everybody's budget is different and with inflation today, though, it's different than it has been in the past,” says Lisa Gryba, mortgage professional. “And I think inflation is changing how Canadians do Christmas.” 

Gryba says it can be very helpful to create a plan and then stick to it. 

“And we have to set holiday spending limits. I think the key is to be realistic, right? Be realistic when you look at your spending limit and when you look at the cost of items today, spend within your budget.” 

She feels it is important that we avoid comparing our own budget with those of our neighbours, friends and families. 

Gryba says, especially in an age where social media is present in our lives, it can be easy to fall into the habit of measuring our own Christmas plans with those of people around us. And that can lead to overspending, followed by a heavy debt-load in January, she adds. 

So how can we still participate in the tradition of gift-giving with a reduced spending budget? 

Gryba points out that there is a lot of value in giving the gift of time, rather than spending money that we don’t have. 

“We always feel for whatever reason, that giving a gift often has to be something tangible in front of us. And I think sometimes just giving the gift of time and contributing, helping people out in other ways is also a big thing.” 

Gryba is a strong believer in creating lists as well as budgets to help reduce the financial strain that can become part of Christmas. 

Using her smartphone, Gryba has an ongoing list of gifts for Christmas and keeps an eye out for those items to go on sale. She also encourages the use of promotional codes (promo codes) offered by stores which can give an additional discount, sometimes resulting in significant savings. 

A tip she gives for budgeting for Christmas, set money aside throughout the year. 

Gryba says that putting away a small amount of money 26 times a year is much easier than scraping together every dollar right before Christmas. 

For more information on Christmas budgets, listen to the podcast “How to budget for Christmas with Lisa Gryba.” 

-With files from Carly Koop


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