The Christmas season is such a splendid time of year, but it can also be a tad bit overwhelming. Buying gifts, food, decorations, and new Christmas outfits can add strain to your bank account. Planning ahead is always a smart way to get through the holidays in an organized and budgeted way, so you don’t have to worry about overspending. It will also help you track of your purchases and keep you from panic buying at the last minute.
Santa.com has a few tips to help you balance that budget this holiday season:
Write it down
Whether you use an excel spreadsheet or an old-fashioned pen and paper, figure out how much you have to spend this season and stick to the plan!
Make certain to include all of the expenses around the holidays from gifts to decor, wrapping supplies, travel expenses, holiday outfits, as well as charitable giving. Next, make a list of everyone you need to buy for and how much you'd like to spend on each person. Don’t forget to budget for your annual Christmas cards and stamps!
Every time you buy something, be sure to update your spreadsheet. Go over a little on one item? See if you can remove something or spend less on another. It can be so very tempting to overspend on those glamorous new heels for the holiday party but keep yourself in check and you'll be thankful when the credit card bill arrives in January!
Don’t wait Until the Last Minute
That is when you panic buy and the price goes out the window. We at Santa.com are fans of buying throughout the year, so you don’t have to spend all at Christmastime! If you see something your sister will love when on vacation in June, buy it and save it! Also, keep an eye out for deals and see if Black Friday/Cyber Monday has what you are looking for.
DIY to the Rescue
Homemade gifts can go a very long way when budgeting and your gift recipients will love them. Homemade cookies? Nothing better! Hand- knit oven mitts? Very useful! Custom-made salt in little jars with a personal note? Great! All affordable and much-appreciated gifts!
Be Held Accountable
It could be fun to share your budgeting goals with a best friend or family member, and encourage each other to stay on budget. Maybe whomever does the best job gets treated to lunch in January! Regardless, it can be a great way to be mindful of spending while making it fun.