If you don’t have a budget for all of your holiday spending, you certainly should. A budget will help keep you from overspending and will help keep you on track with everything you need to buy — whether it is food, decorations, or gifts. Creating your holiday budget isn’t difficult to do — check out these tips to help you get it all in order.
Make a List for Gift Giving
Sit down and write out a list of every person you want to give a holiday gift to this year. If you have ideas about actual gifts, write those on the list. Put an approximate price next to the gift ideas. Knowing how many gifts you are planning to buy will help you figure out how much to spend for each person and help you create your gift budget.
Decide Upon a Menu
As you are working on a budget, don’t forget to include food items you will need to buy. Whether you are providing a meal at your home or taking a dish or two to a meal elsewhere, you will need to include your expected expenses for those food items in your budget.
Create a menu or a list of the dishes you will need to prepare for all holiday meals you are planning to provide or attend. Use the recipes or ingredient lists for each dish to create a shopping list. Write down the approximate prices for each item. Add up those prices and you will have your food budget.
Make a List for Other Expenses
Do you expect to have other expenses? You will need to include a budget amount for any travel, postage and shipping supplies, decorations, and the like. Use sale ads from local stores to get an idea of prices and costs for items you plan to buy.
Decide Upon a Budget for Each Category
Once you have made out lists for the items you need for your holiday shopping, you can create your budget. Add up all of the projected costs for the items you plan to buy. This will be your overall budget and your guideline for spending.
Separate your budget into categories: Gifts, Food, and Other. When you start your holiday shopping, be sure to keep all receipts and earmark the expenses to one of the budget categories. Keep a close eye on your spending in order to make sure you are staying under budget.
It may take a little time and effort to work out your entire holiday budget. You may need to tweak it a little as you go, but a budget will help you stay on track with your spending. Sticking to your budget will also help you save money. You might be surprised at how much you can save by being creative with your gift giving and spending.
Other Articles You May Enjoy:
- Tips to Setting a Christmas Budget – And Sticking to It!
- Easy Ways to Save on Christmas Decorations
- How to Save Money During the Winter
- How to Start a Gift Closet
- Less Stress This Holiday Season
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