‘Tis the season for festive parties, baking goodies, giving back to others and buying gifts, but all of these holiday activities can take a toll on your finances. The financial experts at BHCU are here with 4 tips on how to create a budget for your holiday season, so you can stay merry and bright all season long.
Create a Budget That’ll Lead Your (Spending) Way
Before you start spreading holiday cheer by purchasing gifts for friends and family, it’s important to first create a realistic budget. This means that it should, first and foremost, include any normal expenses, such as:
- Rent or mortgage payment
- Utility bills
- Internet bill
- Cell phone bill
Once these are in your budget, it’s now time to add holiday festivities to it, which may include things like:
- Hosting parties
- Travelling to see friends & family
- Purchasing groceries to donate
- Buying ingredients for potlucks
From here, you can subtract your expenses from monthly income and figure out how much money you’ll have left over for purchasing gifts.
Make a List, Check It Twice and Don’t Allow Yourself to Be Naughty
Between holiday parties, holiday shopping and the usual errands of life, this time of year, although wonderful, is also stressful, so keeping track of who you’ve bought gifts for and who you haven’t can be overwhelming. To avoid getting carried away with your gift giving, make a list of the people you need to buy for and what you want to buy them. As soon as you purchase it, cross them off the list! Not only will this help you stay organized, but it will also prevent you from going outside of your budget.
Choose Your Favorite Way to Pay So You Can “Sleigh”
Rather than recklessly swiping your credit card, taking out a certain amount of money—the exact amount you’ll need to get your gifts—is a great way to keep you from overspending on holiday shopping. However, if you choose to use a credit card (it is more convenient, after all!), opt to use a card with cash back perks.
Get In Touch With Your Inner Elf
Just because it’s the season of gift giving doesn’t mean you have to overspend on gifts. If you’re looking to stick to your budget this year, you may want to consider doing some DIY gifts, such as:
- Homemade jams
- Granola mixes in mason jars
- Baked goods
- Framed photos
- Handmade ornaments
Not only with this give your gift giving a person touch, but it will also keep costs low, help you stay within your budget.
Circle Back to Be Sure You Stay On Track
Once you’ve made a few purchases, it’s important to touch base throughout the season to check in with how much you’ve spent. By doing this, you’ll be able to determine if you’re on track with your budget or if you’ve overspent. This way, you can wrap up the season breaking even and not by breaking the bank! If you’re finding yourself in need of some extra cash, you can always refer new members to BHCU and receive a referral bonus!
There’s no place like BHCU for the holiday season—and every season! Thanks to our personal checking accounts and unique iSAVE programs, we can help you achieve your financial independence. Visit us today!