Every year I create my Christmas budget and every year I do my best not to go over the limit I have set for myself. Its tough. I know that this holiday in particular is more expensive than most and, if you're like me, its also really easy to overspend on... even with a goal set in my budget ahead of time. We all love the people that we buy mountains of gifts on every year and all of those parties and events are non-negotiable social events. I'm right there with you. I want to make sure that the holidays are a wonderful and memorable time with my close friends and family but I need to also keep my finances in mind.
In years past I have arbitrarily set that number in my budget, rarely with amazing success. Sometimes I based my budget goal on quick mental math of what I thought I would need, sometimes I based it on previous years' expenses, and sometimes just on what I thought would be able to fit into my Q4 spending. These were good starts and gave me a nice chunk saved up by Christmas time but it definitely didn't put an end to the financial stress that this time of year inevitably brought to my budget and therefore my mind.
I eventually decided that I needed to be more specific with my goal setting so that I could remove as much stress off of myself as possible by having a plan for the funds that I saved before I saved them. There are multiple types of expenses during the holidays- gifts, events, travel and other basic expenses like additional electricity costs, decorations and etc. The template below is fairly simplified but I hope it will help you figure out a reasonable number for your holiday budgeting needs so that hopefully you will be able to have a bit less of a stressful holiday season as well.
Until next time,