Although many look forward to the holidays, no one looks forward to expenses that the season entails. From spending money on gifts and shopping for ingredients, to incurring travel costs visiting family and hosting a pricey party, there is no doubt that this time of year is expensive for all.
According to Orange County’s Credit Union, it is possible to keep saving even while increasing your expenditure during the most wonderful time of the year. Here are three ways you can give to everyone, including yourself:
Budget for Others (and Yourself)
It’s well known that holiday shopping is expensive, and sometimes, you can find yourself getting out-of-hand and over, over-spending. Setting a budget in advance on how much you plan to spend will reduce stress and anxiety, give you control of your finances and allow you to reach your goals.
Whether you set a budget plan all on your own or with a partner, create a spending plan, examine your net income and study your expenses. You’ll have a better idea of which expenses are fixed and which are variable. The variable expenses can be adjusted month-to-month, so this is where you’ll find that spare money.
Setting a budget will give you an idea of how much you plan to spend on each family member or friend and how much you want to leave yourself with.
Make That List and Check It Twice
Making a list to forecast the expenses you will be incurring during the season is essential if you’re looking to save. Not only are you seeing upfront what the costs are looking like, but you’ll also have an opportunity to nip costs and keep yourself in check before making those impulsive purchases.
From travel expenses and gift shopping to party decorations and holiday outfits, you can find you’re forgetting about one thing or another without a solid list. A perfect example includes gift wrap. You have the costs of the gifts accounted for, but did you remember to include that $50 additional spend when you found yourself adding wrapping paper, boxes, ribbons and tape in your cart?
Making a list helps in limiting the amount of spending on each person and avoiding unplanned purchases, while still giving yourself a little gift of extra cash in your pocket.
Holidays involve expenses that could have cost less with better planning.
Traveling, hosting parties and cooking meals can all be an expensive cost. If you find yourself getting into any of these situations, plan early!
With travel, the earlier you plan the more opportunity you have to keep an eye out for deals and conduct some comparison shopping. Waiting to the last minute is never a bright idea as you’ll find yourself not-so-jolly paying the highest prices for last-minute bookings.
If you’re hosting a party, decorations are a necessity if you’re looking to create a festive feel, and this means you can find yourself spending a pretty penny unnecessarily very quickly. Instead, try going through boxes of decorations ahead of time to see what you will need to repurpose or replace. If you find you need to replace items, look through magazines or Pinterest to do a little DIY decorating.
Christmas is the holiday known for the season of giving. However, you should not put yourself in an uncomfortable financial situation just to impress others. Give from the heart and you’ll find you can still have financial peace-of-mind despite this expensive holiday season.