The Holidays are Approaching: Prepare Your Finances

The holiday season is right around the corner… and most likely, your expenses are soon to be ramping up. If you plan on indulging in holiday festivities, give your budget a game plan and make your spending less stressful. Enjoy these helpful tips for holiday budgeting:

Read also: 5 costs you can cut to save money

Make a budget specifically for the holidays

Don’t overdo it on your holiday spending. Take a realistic look at your finances and figure out how much money you’ll be able to put aside throughout the year. Make sure you are considering all of your seasonal expenses like: 

  • Travel costs – gas, airfare, hotels
  • Food and drink costs for gatherings
  • Decorations, wrapping supplies
  • Gift exchanges –who you need to buy for?  What’s your spending limit for each person?
  • Donations or any charitable giving

Shop smart

Want to avoid the ‘shock factor’ of overspending at the end of the year? Try starting your shopping throughout the year. Waiting until the holidays may end up costing you more! It’s likely there will be less selection if you wait, and if you choose to shop online, you may end up having to pay extra for shipping to get it delivered on time. Watch for sales and compare prices. Plan for the items you want to buy and be on the lookout for deals. You may be able to buy the same item, or similar, for less than you were expecting.

Avoid impulse shopping

Especially during the season of giving, it can be difficult to stick to your budget. After you know the amount you are spending on each person you are buying for, resist the urge to spend more than your set amount. When you reach your max budget for that person, cross them off of your list and continue on. Impulse shopping is hard to resist, make sure you aren’t buying gifts for yourself. If you find something you want, consider purchasing after the holidays pass – it may be on sale!

DIY gifts

If you are on a tight budget, consider saving some money by gifting a thoughtful, homemade present. Whether you are crafty or not, there are tons of budget-friendly gift ideas online. You’ll save money by creating a one-of-a-kind gift.

Don’t let the financial burden of the holidays steal the joy of the season. Nothing ruins holiday cheer like overspending and being strapped for cash. Tackle the holidays with a spending game plan and dodge the unneeded stress. 

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