Top 4 Ways To Budget For The Holidays

Holiday gift-giving is a time of joy, and the expression you see on someone's face when they open that perfect gift can confirm that you found the perfect gift. Gisele Bundchen stated that "Christmas and the holidays are the season of giving. It's a time when people are kinder and open-hearted." When searching for the perfect gift(s), it's also essential to keep your budget in mind. Here are tips to keep your holiday budget on the right track.



Budgeting for the Holidays


Budgeting for the holidays begins by estimating what you plan to spend for gifts, travel, and food. If you have children, budgeting for presents keeps your budget on track by designating what you will spend on each child. If you have a significant other, agreeing on gift purchase limits for each other can help ensure that one partner doesn't overspend. You can also pre-plan your travel by budgeting at least six months in advance and establishing a limit for flights, hotel fees, and even souvenirs.

Food can be expensive around the holiday time because you may spend more time at home cooking with the family. Establishing a menu and meal budget can help keep costs under control. Planning a potluck where everyone is responsible for one dish can help defray the costs when grocery shopping.


Holiday Savings Tips



Budget Early

You can start budgeting for the holidays early to have money designated for any purchases or travel you or your family plan to do. Preplanning your budget reduces stress levels that tend to increase around holiday time. Most importantly, it reduces the need to pay for purchases using credit cards, which can charge excessive interest rates. Setting a budget for holiday dinners, gifts, travel, and even holiday decorations can ensure you keep your budget on track.



Set Price Ranges for Gift-Giving


Your budget for the holidays will depend on the size of your family and network of friends. Here are some estimated price ranges that you can use:


  • Gifts for family - $100-$200

  • Gifts for friends - $20 - $50

  • Holiday dinners for four - $150-300

  • Travel - $500 - $1,000

  • Holiday Decorations $100 - $500

See my feature in How to Budget for the Holidays.


Stick to Your Budget


Once your holiday budget is set, stick to it. You can stick to your holiday budget by:

  • Preplanning travel at least six months in advance

  • Shopping around for cost-effective flights and hotel accommodations

  • Establishing price limits for gift-giving

  • Having a pot-luck dinner where everyone brings a dish

  • Reusing holiday decorations


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