Do You Have These Holiday Expenses in Your Budget?

December 6, 2017

Do You Have These Holiday Expenses in Your Budget?

No matter how carefully you plan your budget each month, it seems like something always comes up. That feeling is only heightened during the holiday season.

Since your holiday expenses occur only once a year, it’s easy to leave things out of your budget. A couple forgotten expenses, a few unplanned activities, some last-minute invitations, and your original budget is suddenly unrecognizable.

Minimize the frustration this year by making sure these holiday expenses are in your budget.

1. Holiday Cards

Whether you hire a photographer, DIY your greetings, or purchase boxed cards, be prepared for this expense.

2. Decorations

You might cut down your tree every year, but you still forget to plan for the cost. Remember to include lights and other holiday decorations.

3. Gift Wrap

It’s easy to forget the cost of wrapping paper, gift bags, and everything else you need to dress up your presents.

4. Postage

Don’t overlook the cost of sending out those beautiful holiday cards and mailing the fabulous presents you’re gifting.

5. Holiday Tipping

If you traditionally tip your newspaper carrier, mailman, kids’ school bus driver and others during the season, be sure to plan ahead.

6. Teacher Gifts

If you have young children, remember to budget for the class gift or an individual one if you go that route. Be sure to include gifts for coaches and instructors if your kids take lessons or participate in sports and other activities.

7. Office Gifts

Don’t let that office gift exchange sneak up on you. The same goes for gifts to coworkers, employees, your boss, or your clients.

8. Gifts for Kids to Buy & Exchange

If your kids participate in gift exchanges with friends or you help them out with purchasing presents for the family, build that expense in your budget, or better yet, remind them to put it in their budget.

9. Charitable Giving

Do you give to your church’s annual offering, donate toys and food, or support other organizations during the holidays? Put it in the budget!

10. Higher Grocery Budget

If you’re hosting a holiday meal or party or usually bring food when you’re a guest, pad your grocery budget during the holiday months.

11. Additional Gas Expense

When you’re hopping on a plane, it’s hard to forget about that expense, but if you’re driving to Grandma’s, remember to increase your gas budget.

12. Dining Out and Entertainment

Pad your eating out and entertainment categories so you won’t feel guilty if you stop to eat or see a movie while shopping.

13. Holiday Activities

Concerts, ice skating, and other activities are fun but can feel a little less fun if you don’t plan for the expense.

14. Holiday Baking

Giving cookies and other baked goods as gifts is an excellent money-saver…but there is still a cost involved. Be sure to plan ahead.

15. Hostess Gifts

If you like to gift a little something as a guest, remember to include this expense for the events you will attend throughout the season.

16. Clothing

Plan ahead for any holiday clothing you need to purchase for yourself or the kids.

17. Stocking Stuffers

The cost of filling those stockings can really add up — even when it’s just candy or other inexpensive items. Build this cost in your budget so you won’t get caught off-guard.

18. Clearance Sale Shopping

The week after Christmas is perfect for scooping up clothing, next year’s holiday decorations, and other deeply discounted items. Build this expense in your budget.

19. Post-Holiday Expenses

If you pay to dispose of your Christmas tree or need to purchase storage for your ornaments and gift wrap, add those costs to your budget.

20. Miscellaneous Holiday Expenses

Even with the most careful planning on your part, expenses may come up that you don’t expect. Prevent them from derailing your budget by having a miscellaneous category. With a little cushion, you can say yes to that last-minute party invitation or pick up a gift for an unexpected guest without worrying a bout the expense.

Related Reading
•   51 Tips to Have a Frugal Christmas Without Going Broke
•   Taking Guilt Out of the Holiday Season
•   250+ Frugal Gift Ideas For Everyone on Your List

Take Notes for Next Year

Focus on the fun and festivities of the holiday season instead of worrying you’re blowing your budget by planning for these holiday expenses. And remember to leave a little room for the unexpected!

Also, give yourself a head start next year by keeping a record of what you spent this year. Throughout the season, keep track of what you spend and when the holidays are over, add up your spending by category and keep it in a memo on your phone, notebook, or a spreadsheet that you can revisit next year.

You’ll thank yourself next year!

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