Whether you’re on a tight budget this year or you’re just trying to be more conservative with your spending, it’s smart to create a Christmas budget. Here are four tips to help you create a Christmas Budget.
Part of the additional stress of Christmas is the money spent. Right? If we were perfect, we would already be living with a monthly budget.
And part of THAT budget, would be setting money every month aside for Christmas.
Budgets put you in more control of your spending – we know that. So even if you aren’t working with a monthly budget all year, make one now.
Make a Christmas budget – one you can live with. Guaranteed, the budget will make the holiday season much less stressful.
Additionally, it help you decide and then discuss your spending goals and limits with your other family members, if needed.
How to Create a Christmas Budget
Create a List of Christmas Related Expenses
One of the reasons the holidays can get so expensive is because there are always unforeseen expenses that pop up.
For example, all of a sudden you’re doing a secret Santa thing at work, or your children are doing one in their classroom.
Creating a list of expenses forces you to think through all of the possibilities.
And if you create a category and don’t actually use the money, you can always put it back in the bank or transfer it to another category.
Make a Christmas Expense Spreadsheet
It’s tempting to just draft a budget in pencil on a piece of notebook paper and consider the task of budgeting accomplished. However, half of the benefit of a budget is as a tracking tool.
You might lose that piece of notebook paper, spill coffee on it or just toss it.
Create a formal budget and a system to track your spending so you can stay on top of your money and in control.
The Christmas Budget – How Much can you Afford to Spend
Once you’ve found a system and created a list of expenses, you can start allocating the money you have to spend to each category.
This is often the frustrating aspect of a budget, because we feel there just isn’t enough. There is enough and you’ll feel better staying on budget – promise.
If necessary, get creative. When you budget you may realize that you’re going to have to make your holiday cards. Great!
You may also realize that instead of buying your child that new computer, they’re going to get a used one.
No problem – really, it isn’t. Budgeting helps you focus on where and what you can spend.
Be creative, accommodate your finances and don’t judge yourself. If you find you’re extremely short on funds, brainstorm a way to make a bit more cash.
Sell stuff on eBay or do some freelance work. You can do it!
Track your Christmas spending
No budget is effective without actually tracking your spending. Keep your receipts and enter your spending daily.
This is the only way you’re going to control your cash. Get everyone on board and create a central location for receipts.
Show each family member involved in holiday spending the system you’ve set up to track expenses.
Creating a holiday budget is smart. Once the season is past and you don’t have any debt, you’ll be committed to creating a Christmas budget each and every year.
It’s that effective!
More about How to Save Money This Christmas
Want to downsize Christmas and help the earth? Here’s how to have a more eco-friendly Christmas holiday.
Want more ideas for Christmas on a Shoestring Budget?
Want to save money on holiday lighting? Here’s why you should buy these!
Have you read Five Mistakes that Break the Holiday Budget yet?