Are you strapped for cash this holiday season? The best way to avoid a financial holiday hangover is to map out your expenses and spending. Creating a holiday budget will take away the worry of over-spending and will help you coast through the holidays without the guilt of buyer’s remorse. Speedy Cash has some suggestions to help you create your holiday budget and encouraging tips to help you stick to it!
Assess Your Funds
Before mapping out your holiday budget, assess exactly how much money you can spend. Holiday money should come from your current income; planning to spend money you don’t have will only defeat the purpose of your holiday budget. Once you determine how much you can afford to spend this holiday season, you can begin to break down what your money will buy.
List Your Expenses
There are a lot of different expenses that go into the holidays – some you may not think of. Make a list of everything you think you will need to buy. Expenses may include: gifts, travel, food and drink, holiday decorations, greeting cards and postage, and charitable donations. Starting with your total budget amount, begin dividing up your money amongst your list of expenses. If you find that your budget is already being stretched, re-evaluate the list and find what items can be cut.
Create a Gift List
To help you know how much to allow for gift spending, figure out everyone (piano teacher or co-workers included) you want to buy a gift for –big or small. Set a firm and realistic gift price for each person. Once you decide on these price purchases, know that you will need to stick with them and should not spend more than you allotted.
Start Shopping Now
You’ll see the majority of holiday sales in November and December. Take advantage of the bargains! To prevent yourself from feeling the pressure and stress of holiday shopping, begin to shop early so you have time to shop around and compare prices. Keep track of your budget with every expense, and update your budget often to match what you have spent.
Creating a budget and sticking to it (especially for holiday spending) will allow you to enjoy the occasions without the stress of money. If you’re tempted to buy something outside of your budget, remind yourself that these couple of holiday season months aren’t worth the months or years of extra payments!