Did you make a holiday budget for this year? If not, there’s still a little bit of time left to create one in order to plan out your holiday spending habits. Creating (and sticking to) your holiday budget can be the difference between adhering to what you can afford or going overboard, so it’s imperative to have one in place. Even if you do have a budget specifically for the holidays or you’ve included your spending in your regular budget, there are still tips here for you too!
Tip 1 – Start Early with Holiday Budgeting!
While the holiday season is getting into full swing, this tip may be better suited for next year. Even so, it’s always a good idea to start early with holiday budgeting. Rather than waiting until November or December to create it, start in January! By doing so, you will have a good estimate of how much you are planning to spend, resulting in you knowing how much you’re going to have to save during the up and coming year. After the holidays are over this year, tally all of your receipts and expenses so that you have a really good idea of what the holidays really cost you.
Tip 2 – Don’t Forget Other Holiday Expenses
While everyone looks forward to the presents every holiday season, they are certainly not the only expense you’ll have. For example, if you cook a big meal, travel to visit family or friends, or attend a big office party, all of those things cost money. And let’s not forget that energy bills may go up as well due to having guests in town, extra cooking or decorations. When planning out your holiday budget, it’s just as important to include all of the extras.
Tip 3 – Stick to Your Giving List
As you go throughout the holiday season, plans may change – you may get invited to more places than you had originally thought, or you may end up with more guests than you thought you were going to have. It’s very easy to rush out and buy for more people, but make sure you’re sticking to your budget. If you didn’t factor in a little bit of extra money for last minute plans, it’s okay to not overextend yourself.
By creating a holiday spending budget and remembering these tips, you’ll find your holidays a lot less financially stressful.