I love Thanksgiving because it kicks off the holiday season! However, it can be so easy to overspend this time of year. The more we can prepare in our budget, the better off we'll be. So, here are a few items to consider when writing your December budget:
1. Christmas Presents
Hopefully you already have some Christmas money sitting in your sinking fund. However, if Christmas snuck up on you, make sure you budget those gifts into this month's budget.
Even if you have some money saved, it might be a good idea to budget a little "buffer" money. This can be for those last minute gifts or parties you are invited to.
2. Holiday Decorations
You don't have to go full Griswold, but it's okay to spend some cash on decorations so you can spread some holiday cheer! Allocate some money for those inflatable yard decorations or to replace the burned out Christmas light (if you can find the one that's broken).
3. Extra Groceries
Odds are you'll have some extra mouths to feed in your house at some point this month. Whether it's relatives crashing in your guest room, or kids that are on holiday break, you'll likely need to buy more groceries than normal.
Heading out of town for Christmas? Travel can add up fast. Not only is there the cost of plane tickets or gasoline, you also have to factor in food and activities while you're gone. Don't let financial stress ruin your time away with family.
5. Family Outings
From pictures with Santa to the holiday bazaar at church, odds are you'll find yourself spending some extra cash on some holiday outings. This is a great way to connect with your family and create lasting memories. If you can't add some extra cash to this category, try finding some free activities (like driving around neighborhoods looking at the lights).
6. Christmas Cards
This always seems to be more expensive than we plan. Don't forget the cost of the cards, stamps, and any photos you want to add in. If you'd like to cut this from your budget, consider sending an e-card this year!
7. Wrapping Paper
I love wrapping presents, and tend to gravitate toward the nicer wrapping paper (it doesn't tear as easily). Make sure you budget $10-20 to wrap those presents. Or, if you still have last year's paper, reuse that and save some $$ this year!
Don't let this month leave you with a holiday spending hangover. By planning ahead, you can truly enjoy the holidays without the guilt!
Need some help creating your budget? That's what I do! Drop me a line to schedule some time together.