How to Budget Your Holiday Spending and Keep Your Goals
I know. I know. We still have five months until the end of the year. However, now is the time to craft your plan to budget your holiday spending aka dominate your end of year spending aka handle holiday spending, end of year expenses, and financial goals.
According to a Varo Money survey, 74% of us didn’t budget for end of year expenses. Oh and it gets worse. A Magnify Money survey showed 29% revealed it will take them five months or more to pay off the debt they took on in order to handle those expenses.
I want you to avoid that this year! Let’s claim financial abundance through the end of the year. This is why we are going to discuss dominating your holiday spending now.
In order to be better prepared to handle those out-of-the-ordinary expenses. You need to give yourself time and a plan to utilize the income you will receive in that time.
Alright let’s go.
1) Total it up.
Create a chart of upcoming events and expenses associated with each event. Think of any weddings, holiday travel, vacations, school trips, gifts, entertainment, etc. For each event write the expenses that you will incur and the estimated costs. When there is a range, use the higher numbers.
There are things that you know you will need to buy each year and some things you want to try this year. Account for them now so you can avoid going into debt, while still enjoying the end of the year festivities or holidays.
2) Fill in your annual budget.
Complete an annual budget. This shows the budget for each month side by side. Don’t take your budget and multiple the numbers by 12. Use the free annual budget template in the Money Management Toolkit.
Fill in the annual budget from now through December and include the expenses from the chart you created in step one. Don’t delete your savings amounts. The point is to try to handle the expenses and not get off track with saving and paying down debt. Once this is complete, you have a clear picture of the estimated extra expenses you need to be able to pay.
3) Plan how you will afford them.
Ok, now you see what you need or would like to do and how much it will cost you. How are you going to handle these expenses? Does your normal monthly income cover these additional expenses? If not, how will you make the money to afford everything?
The money has to come from somewhere and we don’t want it to come from a credit card. You don’t want to still be paying in May for things that you bought in November of the previous year. Oh and likely paying almost double for it by the time.
Consider starting or growing a side hustle to bring in some extra cash. Check out this article on great side hustles.
Bonus: Think of how to pay less than estimated.
It’s always good to lower costs without cutting quality. Think about how you can cut costs. Try some of these tips to lower costs.
Saving Money on Travel:
The costs for getting to your destination usually make up the bulk of any out of town excursion. Some sites I like to check for deals are airefarewatchdog and skyscanner. Some have recommended hopper, but I’ve never tried it. Also, set up alerts for when airlines are having sales.
If you’re driving, check out apps like GasBuddy that has a rewards program that will let you save a few cents per gallon. This of course can add up. They also help you find the cheapest gas wherever you are.
Saving Money on Accommodations:
My standard process is to check:
- the deal finding sites for hotel rates in the area
- sites like AirBnB and Innclusive as they usually have great rates and you can get an apartment to yourself if you need it, which is great when you have a large family
Saving Money on Food:
I sign up for the rewards programs for grocery stores so I can get personalized deals and load coupons to my account. I have a sister who loves ibotta, where you can get deals on items and many different stores.
For more cool tips on being able to save money and make money in a ton of different ways,
- sign up for the WISE Money Challenge
- check out the guide in the Money Management Toolkit which has over 100 ways to cut costs