Regardless of your income or gift giving needs, it is important to create a holiday budget from year to year. Creating a holiday budget can help you control your spending and make sure you get all of the items you need while staying out of debt or overspending. The thought of a budget can be daunting as well as intimidating, but it does not have to be. You can still enjoy a fruitful holiday with all of the bells and whistles while keeping your spending in check. Take a look below at my tips to create a holiday budget so you can enjoy your holiday and new year!
5 Tips to Create a Holiday Budget
1. Define your needs.
Before deciding what you WANT to do this holiday season, decide what you NEED to do. Write list down of the gifts that are important for you to buy, the meals that you will be responsible for, and of course, the charities you wish to donate to. When you can identify needs over wants, you will find your list more simplified.
2. Look at your finances in an honest light.
Look at your income and decide how much disposable income you have for this holiday season. Disposable income would be what is left after all of your bills for the month of November, December, and even January are paid. The amount that is left is what you have to work with for holiday spending. Remember, no gift is worth skipping a utility payment for. Take an honest look and come up with the honest amount you have to spend.
3. Be realistic.
Yes we would all like to buy our loved ones incredible gifts, but be realistic. Spending more does not equal a happier holiday. In fact, it only adds stress. Be realistic about what you can afford and only look at options that are in your budget. Otherwise, you will only find yourself tempted to spend more. For example, don’t go shopping at a high end department store when your budget is not allowing you too. Find a quality retail store that still offers value but for less.
4. Create a new shopping list.
You know what your needs are, you know what you have to spend, you know how to be realistic about where to spend it. Now, create a new list of the items you need to purchase. Set a dollar amount next to each item and stick to it. Remember, just because you set a dollar amount next to an item, you don’t need to spend that full amount. If you find the item for less, great! Pocket the difference to use on one of your WANT items instead. Woo hoo!
5. Re-evaluate your budget as the season goes on.
Each time you make a purchase from your list, cross it off and move to the next. Keep a running tab of what you have spent so far, and note what you have left to spend. Evaluate your budget each time you make a note to it so you remember where you and your finances stand. This will help you plan your remaining purchases easily and efficiently.
That’s it! Just by following these simple steps you can easily create a budget that you can stick too and is user friendly. This holiday season, don’t go broke. Instead, plan a holiday budget and get all of the gifts and supplies you need while still feeling in control. A debt free holiday is a feeling that money can’t buy!