8 Essential Tips for Staying on Budget During the Holidays
With the holidays fast approaching, you might also find your anxiety quickly mounting. Holidays are expensive, and if you’re not careful, you can completely derail the budget you’ve adhered to so strictly all year long. So take a second to read through these tips for staying on budget during the holidays.
Limit gift exchanges. Prioritize which gift giving you want to partake in. Perhaps instead of swapping with friends, you can spend an evening together watching movies or wrapping gifts. Opt of out office Secret Santa exchanges and set a limit well in advance for the amount of money you’ll be spending on family and the kids.
Go in on baking. When you have to buy all of the ingredients for cookie swaps and get-togethers, it can add up quickly. Plan what you’ll need to prepare in advance and find a friend or two who want to go in on baking with you. This way you divvy up the costs as well as the labor.
Refocus your activities. Instead of going to an expensive Christmas show or gala, focus on events that cost little to nothing. You can build a snowman, decorate the tree, make paper Thanksgiving decorations, or host your own New Year’s Eve event for a fraction of the cost.
Always have a list. Whenever you go shopping, keep a list on hand of which items you need and what you’ve already purchased. This will help you stay focused and not overspend or over buy in regards to gifts, décor, and food.
Know your budget. Before the holidays start up, determine what your budget will be to get through each of them. Know how much you can spend on every party, taking into consideration all of the logistics, including gas and accommodations and don’t veer from the budget. Ever.
Start ahead of time. The holidays can really be a drag if you’re draining your bank account to pay for them. Instead, try to start ahead of time. Come January each year, start setting aside savings for a holiday fund that will help ensure your family stays the course financially.
Don’t buy for you. Sure, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great opportunities to find amazing deals that will help you stretch your holiday buck, but many of us fall into the trap of buying for ourselves as well, after all, the deal seems too good to pass up. Never give in to the temptation. Only buy for family and friends from your list.
Make it yourself. If you do swap gifts with your girlfriends, try to make them from scratch. You can buy your materials in bulk and create your own meaningful and loving gift at a fraction of the cost. Some of our favorite homemade gift ideas include essential oil infused bathroom goodies, yummy, healthy treats, or something sewn by hand.
The holidays are an amazing time to spend with family and friends, and make memories that will last a lifetime. But you don’t want the debt you accrue over the next few months to last a lifetime as well, and with these handy tips, you will easily stay on budget over the holiday season.