Looking for tips on How to Set a Holiday Budget? The holidays can be a stressful time if you are working on a tight income. But the good news is, it doesn’t have to be. There are tips you can follow that can help you enjoy a holiday full of cheer while still staying on even the most frugal of budgets. Want to know how? Take a look below at how to set a holiday budget that you can not only stick to, but enjoy. Also, do not forget to check out my Black Friday Shopping Tips I have shared with all of you!
How to Set a Holiday Budget: 7 Easy Steps
1. Identify your needs.
The first thing to do is grab a paper and pencil and identify your needs. These would be the items you need to buy for the holiday. Jot down everything from gifts, to food items, to gift wrap. Remember this is just for needs, not wants.
2. Find your disposable cash.
Your disposable cash will be the money that you are able to spend on these needs as soon as your household bills are paid. You can find this amount by subtracting your monthly expenses from your monthly income. Whatever is left is what you can spend that month on the holiday needs you identified.
3. Identify opportunities to save.
Go back and take a look at your needs. How can you save on each one? Can you make any of the items yourself? Find printable coupons? Find the item at a second hand or discount store instead of a department store? Try to find one way to cut the cost of each item.
4. Set an amount for each need.
Now, next to each need place a dollar amount next to it. This amount will be the max amount you will spend on the item. When you are done, all of your amounts should be equal or less than the amount of disposable cash you have to work with.
5. Start shopping!
Take your list, your disposable cash, and your pencil and start shopping. As you shop for each item, cross it out and write the price you spent next to it. The goal is to spend less than the amount you assigned the item. If you do, write the difference down that you have leftover.
6. Add up your additional cash!
This is the fun part! Did you allot $10 for a gift for your babysitter but only spent $6? Then you get to move that $4 into your surplus pile. Add up the unused money from your budget as you will now get to use this for wants, not needs. Woo hoo!
7. Identify your wants.
Now that you have a little extra cash to work with, what are some wants you have? Do you really want a real tree this year instead of fake? Do you really want to buy your mother in law the scarf she wanted along with the gloves? Use this money now to purchase those wants.
So what if you don’t have enough in your budget to even cover your needs? Well there are a few things you can do. First, look over those needs again and see what you can eliminate. Even 2 or 3 items will help. Then, brainstorm ways to make extra cash. Can you sell old items on eBay? Take some old clothes to the consignment shop? Look for items you can part with to earn cash for the items you need to buy.
Sticking to a budget is not easy, but it can help you enjoy a holiday without going into debt. Be realistic about the budget you are working with and use the system above to be sure you get everything you need without busting your budget.
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