Preparing your Budget for the Holidays

Sure, the calendar says October now, but holiday season is quickly approaching.

There are Thanksgiving dinner menus to prepare, Christmas gifts to order, and maybe even some travel expenses that will arise. Holiday time can certainly put some pressure on our normal budget, but no need to panic.

We’ve come up with a few tips to get you through this time without fear.

Decide your spending limit
It’s important to know ahead of time what you’re willing to spend total on gifts. This will help you to prioritize who to buy for, what price range works with your budget, and avoid going over the amount you’ve set for yourself. It’s usually not a great idea to spend more than you have saved and plan to pay it off later. Interest rates don’t take a Christmas vacation.

Make a list, check it twice
If you’re hosting a family gathering at your house, make a list of your needs ahead of time. It can be very tempting to go into the grocery store and buy everything you might have a craving for in the moments as well as forget some last minute items.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday
Whether you’re an avid online shopper, love the thrill of Black Friday, or want to support local businesses, there are many deals to be had for those who have holiday shopping on the mind. Make sure to do your due diligence when it comes to finding the best bang for your buck for those who are on your Christmas list. It never hurts to do price comparisons.

Break out the cash
The best way to keep track of your spending is to actually see it disappear. If you’re not worried about getting those extra mileage points, take out cash ahead of time so you can stick to your budget.

Holiday time doesn’t have to break the bank every time. Start thinking about your spending now so that you won’t have to worry about it later. Planning is always key to financial success. Your future self will thank you later.