The average person will spend around $882 during the holiday season, according to the American Research Group, Holiday parties, dinners, gift exchanges, events can drain our bank accounts so quickly especially if we don’t plan the expenses. Anytime I share money saving tips with you, one of my first tips of every article is to set a budget. Today I am going to share with you What to Include in a Christmas Budget. I usually start thinking about my budget and writing plans mid-summer, but I know those who start planning the day after Christmas.
What To Include in a Christmas Budget
Decorating Budget. This would include any new ornaments, Christmas Tree (if live or replacing a fake one), wreaths, outdoor decor, Christmas lights, Christmas light bulb replacements, table cloths, scented candles, or anything else that you would want to buy to make your home look wonderful for the holidays. Don’t forget DIY projects also take a budget.
Grocery Budget. Dinner parties, Christmas dinner, and baking all increase the grocery budget a little bit. You should have all the pantry essentials on hand, but special items such as baking chips, candy, and the turkey/ham need to be budgeted for. Also, include any disposable tableware, cookie/treat tins, and napkins you may be using for your holiday entertaining needs.
Gift Budget. Think of who you are going to be shopping for and set a price limit for each person. I also include stamps, cards, gift boxes, tape, and wrapping paper in this part of the budget.
Clothes Budget. Going to a holiday party and need/want a new holiday top or little black dress? Make sure to include a budget for that. I have a thing for Christmas socks, so I make sure to budget for a new pair every year. Do you get the kids matching pajamas for Christmas eve? These are all expenses to think of now so you aren’t stressed when December hits.
Entertainment Budget. Christmas time is a time for many local events, and even some far away travel to see family and friends. Set a budget for extra fuel needs or travel expenses, event tickets, and eating out.
Narrowing Down Your Christmas Budget
Once you have listed everything, you might be a little overwhelmed with what your budget looks like. Take a second and third look at your budget. Is there anything you can cut? Can you lower per person gift amounts? Take inventory of wrapping paper, tape, and other essentials you may already have enough of.
Once you have your Christmas Budget set, then it is time to think of ways to save on what you want/need for this holiday season. Couponing, thrifting, and DIYing can help!
Do you plan out your Christmas spending or do you just wing it? How are you planning on saving money this holiday season?