Celebrating the Holiday Season on a Budget

The approaching holidays are very exciting as we spend time with family, partake in festivities, and experience the joy and magic of the season. Although this is a favorite time of year for the majority, many people struggle with the financial burden the holidays can bring. So, with the parties, traditions, and festivities around the corner, consider planning a budget to minimize financial stress in the upcoming months. Follow this guide to stay on budget this season:

Step 1: Planning Expenses

Start planning your expenses by writing down all the holiday events/parties you typically partake in from November 1st through January. Make a separate list beneath each holiday/event that includes all expenses for a particular event. Many people only make a list of gifts or the people they are buying for. However, costs should include food, decorations, outfits, family photos, and white elephant gifts.

Step 2: Budget

Once you have your list of all the holiday expenses, set a dollar amount to stay within for each event and begin planning the cost of each item. When thinking about food, plan out your menu. What are you cooking or baking for your holiday events? Make out a detailed grocery list and estimate the cost of each item. Setting a budget for all expenses will help you stay on track!

Step 3: Track

Planning your expenses and budget is the hard part. Now, all you have to do is track your spending while you shop using the budget you created! Try inputting your shopping lists and budget on your cell phone, so you can access it while you shop. Keeping your list with you will help you stay on top of what is needed, making you mindful of what you have left to purchase and your remaining budget. Cross things off as you go!

Don’t let your finances take the fun out of the holidays. If you need help with your holiday budget, email me at Creynolds@newdimensionsfcu.com or call 207-660-6267 to set an appointment. Together we can keep you on budget so you can partake in the joys of the upcoming season.