The holiday season can be an expensive time of year for most families. Whether you are spending your hard-earned money on food, drinks, nights out, presents, or travel, the amount of money you spend between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve can quickly get out of control if you are not careful.
If you are worried about spending too much during the holidays, here are some steps you can take to properly prepare.
Set a gift budget
One of the biggest expenses during the holidays is all of the gifts that you will purchase. According to recent research, the average American spent between $1,000 and $2,000 on holiday gifts in 2020. To make your gift budget, sit down and write down everyone you need to purchase for. Be sure to include even the smallest of gifts, including your children’s teachers and your mailman. For each recipient, you’ll want to set a spending limit. This will start with your kids and spouse, who will probably have the highest limit, and go down from there. Now, once you have this limit set, you’ll need to stick with it.
Set a budget for decorations and other items
In addition to gifts, you should set a budget for everything else holiday-related that you’ll be wanting to purchase during the holiday season. This should include holiday lights, your Christmas tree, wrapping paper, gift bags, and even tape. This will help to set expectations for how much you will be spending during the season.
Set a food budget
There is a lot of entertaining and cooking to be done during the holiday season. This will be in addition to your typical weekly or monthly grocery bill. To set your food budget for the season, look at what meals you will be expected to cook for and how much. For example, are you hosting the full Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve feast? Are you just attending a family meal that you need to bring a side dish and dessert to? If so, what do you plan to cook and what ingredients will you need for those dishes? Are there coupons available that will help keep the costs down? And can you purchase ingredients over the next few weeks to help spread the costs over a longer period?
Consider your travel costs
During the holidays, you may be expected to travel to visit different family members. If this is the case, you should include the cost of plane tickets, train tickets, gas, and hotels into your season budget. This can accumulate quickly, so be sure that you plan early so that you can get the best deals possible.
The costs of the holiday season can rack up quickly. You must know what your potential budget is early so that you have a clear understanding of what you can and cannot afford to go in. This will also help you understand when and where you need to say no to engagements or potential travel when you need to.
In addition, you will know when you need to get help with your budget from sources, such as Maxlend, when you need to.
Raj Kumar is a qualified business/finance writer expert in investment, debt, credit cards, Passive income, financial updates. He advises in his blog finance clap.