The holidays can take a large chunk of your money each year between gifts, food, decorations, travel expenses, and holiday outfits. In the the last few months of the year, your expenses will shoot up due to all of these factors. To avoid going into debt or barely getting by on your checks for the last two months, you can budget in your holiday expenses. You have options in how you can manage your money in order to be ready for the holidays. Here are a few ideas on how to budget your money.
Map Out a Strategy:
Most people begin their holiday shopping with no real plan of action in mind. Instead of trying to shop by the seat of your pants, laying out a strategy can help to keep your spending under control. For example, write a list of all the people that you need to give a gift. Once you have determined the amount of money that you are willing to spend for the holidays on gifts divide the amount of money by the amount of people that you have to give a gift. You will get a number which will be the dollar limit you can spend on each person. Keep as close to that dollar limit as possible in order to prevent going into the red. If you are going to make some online purchases, consider having some extra money set aside to cover shipping costs, although many major online retailers waive these fees during the holidays.
Stick to your List:
When you are going out shopping make sure that you stick to your list. Don’t deviate from the list, especially to buy something for yourself, because these unexpected purchases will throw off your budget. Make the list of what you need to buy from each retailer before you go into the store. If you have a problem with impulse control, it may be a better option for you to shop online because you are less likely to purchase something that you can’t hold in your hands immediately. This will help you to keep true to your budget.
Get some Extra Money:
There are many different retailers that are hiring during the holiday season, which can help you to get some extra money in your pockets. Get a part time job and use it to pay for some of your extra holiday expenses. Being an employee at some retailers gives you the advantage of qualifying for extra discounts that can lead to further holiday savings. By using some of your extra time to make money, you can use the money to pay for all of your holiday expenses and even be able to save for other things as well.
The holidays can be costly but you can save yourself some money by making sure that you prepare a budget before you begin shopping. By having a budget you can avoid any unpleasant financial surprises come January. If you are having trouble figuring out a budget, there are many tools available for free online that can help and track your spending for you!