The Christmas season has a way of magically making all our money disappear. If we’re not careful, family spending can whip out of control and take months to recover from. It’s important to create a solid budget detailing allowable funds for all holiday expenses. When we construct strict budgets and commit to spend accordingly, we can overcome the shopping temptations that would otherwise so easily beset our good plans.
When drafting a budget for our holiday-expenses, we will extremely benefit from creating an exhaustive list of potential money-eating categories. Unexpected expenses can still occur, but we will be better equipped to handle the financial challenges before us if our budgets are as explicit as they can be.
Brainstorm all the general holiday-related categories you intend to spend on. Use the following list as a helpmeet for crafting the line entries that will appear on your budget. Determine where resources will be used and allocate monetary values accordingly. List your expenses and financial estimations together in a medium you can easily keep track of and refer to throughout the coming months.
There are formal budgeting programs you can use to craft your holiday budget, but you can also create something simple in Excel or even with pen and paper. You can make your budget as fancy or as simple as you’d like to: what’s important is not the format but the affect it will have on your spending. Even the most beautiful of budgets, when ignored, can become useless. Keep perspective and follow through with your financial goals. And remember, a family that saves together is more likely to stay together. Good luck and Merry Christmas!
Sample Expense Categories within an Average Holiday Budget
Home Décor Expenses. Outdoor Trimmings; Tree Trimmings; Indoor Decorations; Etc.
Holiday Craft Expenses. Gingerbread Houses; Homemade Ornaments; Christmas Cards or Family Newsletters; Etc.
Holiday Candy & Treat Expenses. Candy Canes; Popcorn Balls, Sugar Cookies, Fudge; Caramels; Apple Cider; Etc.
Anticipation of Christmas Eve Expenses. Special Dinner; Desserts; Christmas Eve Present or Pajamas; Family Traditions; Etc.
Anticipation of Christmas Day Expenses. Stocking Stuffers; Wrapping Paper & Gift Bags; Family Presents; Friend & Neighbor Presents; Teacher, Co-Worker & Boss Presents; Special Lunch or Dinner; Desserts; Charity & Red Cross Donations; Family Traditions; Etc.
Anticipation of New Year’s Eve. Dinner & Appetizers; New Year’s Eve Party Favors; Dessert; Etc.
Anticipation of New Year’s Day. Special Lunch or Dinner; Dessert; Family Traditions; Etc.