The holiday season is approaching! As lovely as that time of year is, it can increase our stress levels when it comes to finances. We have some ideas for you on how to create a plan to hopefully decrease your stress levels and keep you from overspending during the holiday season.
Create a list of all possible expenses
Begin approaching your budget by making a list of whatever could be considered as a holiday expense. Include categories such as gifts, travel expenses, gift wrapping, holiday cards, and charitable donations. Even go as far as creating a list of everyone you need to buy gifts for including family, friends, co-workers, even your postal service worker if you would like.
Determine your spending limit
The goal is to only spend money that you have rather than charging it on a credit card, anticipating to pay it off later. Begin by taking a look at your monthly budget and find areas that you can cut back on to save for the holidays. Can you cut back on things like eating out for lunch or stopping to get coffee each morning by bringing your own lunch and coffee from home? Once you know where all of your money is going and have determined how much you can save for the holidays, set your spending limit.
Divide your spending limit up appropriately amongst your categories of holiday expenses
Go through and assign a specific amount of money to each gift, outing, office Christmas party, etc. Know that these are your spending limits for each of them.
Make a gift list before you go shopping
Be sure to have at least one or two ideas within your price range for each individual. Also, planning ahead and watching for major sales can help you find some good gifts for less money than you budgeted for!
Taking some time to plan out your holiday budget can help you decrease stress, save time, and maybe even money!