Pre budget planning
- New Christmas decorations for you home. (We always seems to buy something new every year and don’t forget the cost of your tree)
- Holidays cards
- Wrapping paper (Maybe you are an after Christmas sale person like us and have already purchased these)
- Food for holiday parties or family gatherings
Set your budget
Now that you considered what expenses you will incur during the holidays now is time to set a realistic budget. Set a budget for each of the categories of expenses you expect to incur during the holidays. Hopefully you have budgeted for a portion or maybe all of your upcoming Christmas expenses. If not ask yourself how much am I willing to spend or how much can I afford to spend without adding additional debt to my balance sheet. You do not want to put it on credit card that you are not able to pay off in January. Remember you are trying to avoid that post Christmas hanger over. Here are few tips to help with your Christmas budget.
Setting a goal to have all of your shopping completed by specific date. This will help you avoid those last minute shopping trips which usually cause us to overspend because we are usually rushing to make those purchases and do not always think about the budget. It also causes more stress then you need to put on yourself. So getting your shopping done sooner than later is better for you and your budget.
Track your process
Do you go shopping and forget to purchase a gift for someone? Do you forget how much you already spent on a gift for someone? or Do you forget who you purchased a gift for? I know I forget some of these while I am shopping. Instead of trying to remember everything you have purchased and how much you have already spent, establish a tracking system. A tracking system will help you track all of your purchases you have made and track how much you have spent. This will help keep you on budget. Do not forget to also keep track other holiday related purchases to stay within the budget you set. There are a few apps to help with this so you can take your track system on the go and update as you are making purchases.
Doing these simple action steps now will hopefully prevent you from experiencing post Christmas financial pain and frustration when you realize you have spent more than you planned and don’t have resources to payoff the credit card in January. It will only add to your stress levels which is not a good way to start the new year. If you do overspend have a plan to pay it off as quick as possible so it does not linger and become a long term financial issue. Having a plan in place will help you simplify your holiday spending.
PHOTO CREDIT: Copyright: danienel / 123RF Stock Photo