It's that time of year again...the holiday season. While it's often filled with wonderment and joy, it can also be filled with stress.
One potential way to reduce your stress during the holiday season is to create a budget. It's not as exciting as going out and spending money willy-nilly, but it can keep your financial stress down and help you start the new year off right.
Philanthropy is one of our favorite topics, so we want to give you a couple of year-end planning ideas now. But stay tuned because we will dig into this topic in more detail soon.
Maybe you're tired of getting a bad wakeup call when the bills start rolling in, or maybe you're tired of watching your account drop lower and lower when there are still more presents to buy.
Consider these practical tips to make the holidays (and your bank account) more enjoyable:
It's too late this year, but next year, you could start saving for the holidays at the beginning of the year.
Build holiday savings into your regular monthly budget. Divide how much you typically spend around the holidays by 12 and start putting that amount into a separate account in January.
Create your holiday budget by person or group of people and stick to it.
You can set aside money per child or money in the category of "friends."
**Tip** for parents of younger children. Sometimes it's best to make sure the number of presents are equal, even if the budgeted amount is not. Kids don't often know how much things cost, but they'll notice if their sister or brother has more presents.
Be realistic about all the places you spend money during the holidays. Don't just budget for presents.
Be sure to budget for activities and food.
Also, consider your time off. Will you eat out more or possibly take a trip?
It's not helpful to make a budget if you aren't going to stick to it and track it.
Consider using a reputable app or spreadsheet and keep an up-to-date record of everything you spend.
It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. But remember, you don't have to give extravagant gifts or spend yourself into a financial hole.
Remember to be intentional and thoughtful about your gift giving. Don't give out of obligation but give out of joy and love.
And remember to support local and small businesses this time of year as well.
Enjoy this time with family and friends. It can be stressful, but it is also time to find peace and joy within yourself. Set up your budget to help you do just that!
The Sweet Side of Finance
Tune in to the blog at the end of the month for my latest recipe (which my newsletter readers already know about).
This month, we're talking about holiday budgets, and this delicious recipe makes an excellent gift!