The holidays are here and so are the expenses that coming along with it. Today, I am going to share some tips that will help you ‘sleigh’ your holiday budget. Let’s dive in.
I’m sure you’ve heard, “failing to plan, is planning to fail”. So it’s best to get organized and plan early. Planning early will give you time to save money for holiday expenses. What helps me is making a holiday binder that includes every holiday. You will want to write down everything you plan to do and buy for each holiday. Some examples are: apple picking, events, pumpkins, costumes, hosting guest, gifts, donations, decorations, etc. So, make a list and check it twice!
Planning early will help deter you from using your credit card and going into debt. There are tons of people that use their credit cards with the intention of paying it in full at the end of the month, but it back fires because they either don’t have the money or they end up having other priorities. Don’t let this be you.
Now, determine what your goal amount is for each holiday. I like to keep things simple. I use 3 categories: food, fun, misc. I do this for Halloween and Thanksgiving. For Christmas, I add a gift, donation, and date night category. Our date nights in December have always been a heavy hitter in our budget, so I include this.
Once you have your goal amount for each holiday, you can start to save. I like to take my goal amount and divide that by the number of months I have left to save. For example, if you started to save for Christmas in January and wanted to reach your goal amount of $700 by October, you would save $70 every month. Some people like to take out cash and save their money in an envelope. I like to stash my money in a separate savings account. I have a savings account for each holiday. This way is best for me because I have access to my money and can use it when needed. I like to buy Christmas gifts throughout the year and having my money in the bank makes it easily accessible.
This method of saving throughout the year has been a game changer for me. Another thing I want to mention is, there is no right or wrong amount to spend for the holidays. Tailor this to you and your family. Keep things simple.
BUDGET FRIENDLY HOLIDAY IDEAS
Here are some ideas that will help you shop smart: buy gifts throughout the year, shop locally, and buy thrifted items. You can also give consumables or experiences. I actually have a blog post that goes into gift ideas that are budget friendly and eco-friendly. You can get to that article here.
Just be smart about your purchases and stay in budget. Do not fall for advertisement and credit card offers. Companies amp up their advertisement during the holidays, so just be mindful.
Here are some frugal ways to celebrate: have a picnic at the park on a beautiful Fall day, make some hot chocolate at home and go for a walk to look at the Christmas lights in your neighborhood. Watch a movie while eating holiday themed food, bake cookies together, go caroling, build a snowman. The ideas are endless.
Here is an article I have on having a fun, minimalistic Halloween.
The holidays should not be about materialistic things. It should be about creating lasting memories with your loved ones. Whatever you plan to do, just remember that memories last forever. The gift of time is far greater than any gift you can give. Happy holidays! Cheers to sleighing your budget!