How to Create a Budget for the Holidays

Holiday gift-giving can be a drain, both on your mental health and your wallet. We’ve put together a list of ideas to help you celebrate Christmas within your limits.2019 is rolling to a close and that means the Christmas holiday season is upon us. If you’re looking for ways to cut back this holiday season, here are some of methods.

Begin by making a list of all of your expected holiday expenses. This includes gifts, cards, wrapping paper, traveling expenses, gift exchanges at work.This will give you a basic idea of things that you will need to pay for in addition to gifts. Many people only think about the gifts and wonder why money is so tight in December, but they forget about these incidentals.

Determine how much you have available to cover Christmas expenses this year. When you are considering this amount be sure that you only use money that you have set aside for Christmas or extra money that you can find in your budget. Do not plan to spend more than you have saved with a plan to pay it off later. Paying for holiday gifts on a credit card is never a good idea.

Divide your budget according to the different spending categories you’ll have this holiday season.This means assigning a specific amount for each gift, as well as each outing, office Christmas party, or another event. Knowing how much you have to spend on each gift will help you narrow down ideas before you shop.

Create a list for your holiday shopping. You should have one or two ideas within your price range for each individual. If you take the time to plan ahead for major sales, you may be able to find some great gifts for less money than you budgeted for, which is another plus.

Track Your Purchases

Once you begin the holiday season, keep track of all your purchases. Bring your gift list, along with your budget sheet, with you on every shopping trip. Additionally, be sure to keep track of the cost of your holiday-related outings and other spends so you will be able to more accurately budget next year. As you begin to purchase gifts and spend money, be sure to subtract the amount from your running Christmas budget total. This will let you know how well you are sticking to your budget and will make it easier to make adjustments between categories if needed. Tracking your spending is the biggest key to sticking to your budget.
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