Because the Christmas season is about giving, it can easily turn into a season of spending as well. Consider making and keeping to a holiday budget to help alleviate the stress of the season. A holiday spending plan can not only relieve stress but will also prevent you from overpaying and accumulating debt this holiday season. Learn how to begin planning for the holidays so that you can make the most of them while minimizing the financial impact.
1. Make a list of your holiday expenses to get started.
It is good to make a plan before beginning to save for the holidays. Make a note of all of your anticipated holiday spending first. Here’s an illustration:
- Gifts for friends and family
- Food for the holidays (spending outside your normal food budget)
- Workplace gift exchanges Gift-wrapping supplies
- Costs of shipping
- Service providers may receive gratuities or presents.
- Employee bonuses, such as a nanny bonus
- Donations to charity
2. Set a spending limit for yourself.
Determine how much money you have available to meet Christmas expenses this year now that you know where your money is going. It’s critical to examine your budget and determine how much money you have leftover to spend throughout the holiday season.
When calculating this amount, make sure you only utilize the money that you have put aside or that you can locate it elsewhere in your budget. It’s critical not to plan on spending more than you have initially saved to pay it off later.
3. Make a budget for each category.
Divide your money into the various spending categories you’ll encounter during the holiday season.
This entails allocating a precise budget for each present, outing, corporate Christmas party, or another occasion. Traveling to your grandmother’s house in Florida, for example, would be divided into two categories: transport and the present you bought for her. Knowing how much money you have to spend on each presentation will help you cut down your options before you go shopping.
4. Keep track of your purchases.
Keep track of all your purchases once the holiday season begins. Every time you go shopping, bring your gift list and budget sheet with you. Also, keep track of the cost of your Christmas activities and other expenses so you can budget more properly next year.
As you start buying gifts and spending money, make sure to deduct the amount from your overall Christmas budget. This will show you how well you’re sticking to your budget and allow you to make modifications between categories more easily if necessary.
5. Make the majority of your purchases online.
Shopping online can save you money and time by allowing you to compare prices and locate the best deal. Remember to hunt for free shipping codes and give yourself plenty of time to receive your items.
6. Maintain a reasonable budget.
It can be difficult to balance the pressure and desire to offer holiday gifts, which forces many people to make difficult decisions about what to sacrifice to give. While skipping gifts or giving far less than you would want may feel upsetting, it is likely to be far less taxing than going into debt or cutting out on basics.