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Budget Tips for the Holidays

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Hello holiday season! This time of year is so fun but can be stressful if you have not yet started your holiday shopping (or even thought about it…). No worries. Let’s make a plan with some budget tips for the holidays!

Budget tips for the holidays - Splendry


Here are a few of my personal tips to help you have a stress free holiday.

1. Create a budget.

If you have not already written out a budget, now’s a great time to decide how much you can afford to spend. What will you need to cut out of your monthly budget? Do you need to cut back on spending in other areas for the rest of the year, like entertainment, to make up the difference? Allow a little extra for padding in case you forget someone at the last minute!

budget tips for the holidays - Splendry

2. Make a gift list.

Write down a list of all the people you expect to buy for this year, all in one place. I use actual envelopes with the name of each person written on them, and I put the budgeted amount inside the envelope in CASH. This helps me stay on track. If you have ideas for what you’d like to get certain people, list those ideas next to their name.  {Don’t forget your kids’ teachers, bosses, your secretary, clients, etc.}

3. Start checking the deals.

Many stores and websites are doing ‘pre-holiday’ deals instead of doing Black Friday this year. If you do enjoy Black Friday madness then start making a list of what you are looking to buy for each person on your list so that you are on task at the sales (and not too distracted by the ‘end-of-the-aisle’ temptations that are nothing you actually need). Taking stock of your budget and who you’re buying for this early will allow you to jump on any money-saving opportunities that come your way.

4. Use cash.

This is the easiest way to make sure you do not over-spend. Start putting cash away for your holiday spending as you save for it. Much less stress, and you can really know how much you still need to save, or how much MORE you saved by the time Christmas comes around.

5. Let’s shop!

Once you have your budget and gift ideas in mind, get shopping! Bring along a dependable friend for extra support – preferably one who will be good at helping you stick to your goal budget. If online shopping is more your thing, look into programs like Upromise. At least you’ll be saving for college while filling up your cart.
**Beware of some of the tricks that stores use to lure customers into buying more than they actually need — like placing large shopping carts near the front entrance to “help” you make large purchases more easily, as well as sample stations and displays meant to tempt you into buying new, previously unheard of products.**

6. Stay focused.

Each time you make a purchase log it in your master budget list to keep track of where you are for your budget goal. Do you need to save more, or are you adding a surplus back into the back-up fund?

7. Plan ahead.

I know it may seem ridiculous, but putting away just $10 or $20 each month beginning in January will give you a great start at the beginning of the following holiday season. Open a new savings account that is specifically for your holiday spending. This will give you some peace of mind when you get to next Christmas.

{Disclaimer: I am not a financial adviser. These budget tips for the holidays are things that have helped me to plan. It is in no way intended to be the end-all-be-all of financial decisions. Hopefully it can be helpful and give you ideas for your own situation.}

Happy Holidays!

Originally published November 17, 2015

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