Do you find yourself worrying over how much money you are going to spend this Holiday season? October has finally come around, which means that Halloween and Christmas is just around the corner.
Then it will be Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. You might even have to book a flight ticket home for 1 or 2 of those Holidays and you are feeling overwhelmed with all the spending you have to do this year.
I get it. Buying flight tickets, Christmas presents, groceries for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. The list just goes on and on, doesn’t it? You might also have to go to a few office parties and Christmas dinners with your friends.
It is no wonder really, that this season is a stressful time for some people. If you have anxiety and are prone to stress, spending such a huge amount of money during a few months, can easily rile you up and keep you up at night.
So, how do you plan it all? Where do you even begin? Well, I’m here to help you out.
Start planning now!
I’m actually a little surprised by people sometimes. Everyone knows that Christmas is in December, right? It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone at this point, and yet people act like it suddenly snuck up on them without them noticing.
And every year people get stressed and anxious because they have to spend a lot of money, that they don’t have. Why is that? I wonder about this every year.
It’s never too early to start planning your Holiday budget. In order to save up for Christmas presents, I personally put aside $45 every month starting from January. This means that I will have enough money for birthday gifts throughout the year as well as Christmas gifts in December.
My immediate family is not big, and we are only 4 people celebrating Christmas together. This means, that I don’t have a lot of presents to buy. However, some families are bigger. So, if you need to put aside $30 or $50 every month, then you do that. Just make it a habit from January 2020.
Make a list of expenses
Like I said, it’s never too early to start planning. You should begin by making a complete list of every single item you need to buy this Holiday season.
And I mean everything, such as traveling expenses if you need to go home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, Christmas presents, wrapping paper, gift exchanges at work, charitable donations, decorations for Christmas, etc.
Writing down every single thing will give you a complete list of what you actually need to buy this Holiday season. Many people conveniently forget that they need to buy other things besides presents and they wonder why their budget is so tight.
How much do you have available to spend this year? Considering this amount can be difficult. If you haven’t set aside any money for Christmas in general, you will need to find somewhere in your budget you can take the money from.
If you start planning this now, you still have November and December to put aside some money. Try to consider what is more important to you. Do you have to go home for Christmas? Then don’t buy that latte in the morning. Save every penny you can and buy some instant coffee you can make instead.
If you are spending more money than you have in your budget, you need to make cuts in other places. As I mentioned, you can buy some instant coffee instead of a latte at Starbucks, you can use coupons at the grocery store, etc. If you need more money, you can try and sell some of your stuff that you don’t really need.
Don’t ever plan to spend more than you have. Going over your credit card limit in order to buy Christmas presents is never a good idea. You’ll just have to pay that debt back someway the other way around.
Who are you buying Christmas presents for?
Make a list of everyone you need to buy gifts for and a total for how much you will spend on each person. A lot of families set a limit for how much they are going to spend on each kid and adult.
You also need to assign a dollar value to each person. Have you decided to spend $50 on your mum or dad? Write it down.
Once you have an estimated total, take that amount and divide it by the days you have left until December 1st. If you have roughly 90 days left, then you know how much you need to save every day in order to reach that amount of money. Please, avoid the dreaded January bill shock if you can. Trust me. It’s no fun!
Here’s a list:
- Mum: $50
- Dad: $50
- Husband: $100
- Wife: $100
- Son: $100
- Daughter: $100
- Mom in law: $50
- Dad in law: $50
- Niece: $50
- Nephew: $50
- Secret Santa: $30
We are only 4 people for Christmas, which means I luckily don’t use a lot of money. My aunt and uncle and their kids have a different religion. They are Jehovah’s Witnesses, which means they don’t celebrate Christmas and don’t accept gifts. Well, less people for me to buy presents for, right? Not everyone is this lucky though, I know.
Track all your spendings
Write down every dollar you spend. I mean it. Every single dollar. If you keep tracking your expenses, it will help you stay on budget and make sure that you don’t overspend. You need to hold yourself accountable.
The Holiday season is supposed to be a joyous time, but too many people are stressed and anxious during this time of year because you also spend a lot of money.
The Holiday season is expensive, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise to people. It comes around every year. The key to a stress-free Holiday season is to plan ahead, starting in January.
If you plan ahead and save money for Christmas presents, it might make Christmas more fun and enjoyable for you.
How do you save money and plan for the Holiday season?
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