The word ‘budgeting’ can evoke two extremely different reactions from you. You could read it without batting an eye, confident that you’ve already dedicated time to understanding your income and expenses. Or, more likely, you see ‘budgeting’ and you cringe, thinking about how much work it’d take to really do it right. Making and understanding your budget any time of the year can seem like an arduous task. Creating and sticking to a holiday budget? That sounds even trickier.
We’ve broken down 5 steps you can take to create and stick to a holiday budget this year. Don’t let finances put additional stress on you during the most wonderful time of the year. Plan ahead so you can enjoy your family and festivities without fretting over your finances.
1. Identify money already spent
Before you even think about setting your budget, first take a look at all of your expected expenses. These are expenses you can’t really ignore but can plan for. This starts with your usual monthly bills (rent, insurances, bills) then also extends to things that are more holiday-specific, like cost of travel if you’re visiting family (gas, hotels or airfare) and childcare if you’re taking