Here’s what most consumers do when it comes to shopping for the holidays: they throw their budgets out the window, spend as much money as possible, and then wonder why things are so chaotic in January! It might sound silly to start thinking about a refined budget now, but if you start now you’ll avoid disaster later. One of the best things that you can do when it comes to meeting your financial goals is to be consistent in everything that you do. If you’re the type of person that has a budget but lets it drift away during this time of year, this article is exactly what you need to read.
What does it meant o have a refined budget? To us, it means to have a budget that moves with you during the holiday season, rather than just staying locked in place. A flexible budget is great for all seasons, but the holiday season definitely proves why the budget flexibility is necessary. You’ll see a lot of great deals that you just want to scoop up. It’s a time for giving and receiving, and you want to be known as a generous person. There are obvious emotional triggers involved when we start talking about the holidays. For people with children, you have to realize that this is also the type of year when you’re going to be bombarded with tons of advertisements about this toy or that electronic gadget that everyone has to have. Reining in your spending before the season starts will avoid those pesky January pressures.
So, where do we begin?
We start with family. Knowing your family’s traditions like the back of your hand is important. If you haven’t put all of your upcoming events on a calendar, this is your first step. One of the biggest reasons why some things become financial emergencies is simply because we just forget about it altogether. That’s understandable, as we’re all dealing with a lot more things going on than in the past. It’s easy to let something slip off the radar, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t cost you dearly in the long run. The way to get around this is to put all of the important events that you can think of on a calendar. You need to make this calendar something that other family members can accessible. While you’re probably great at juggling all of your responsibilities, there’s no reason why you should have to do that all by yourself. Let other family members add their events upfront, so everyone knows what’s going on at all times.
From here, you want to look at the specific events that you have planned. For example, are you planning to do a Christmas dinner? Do you have American family members that would love to have a Thanksgiving dinner when they come visit you? If so, these are things that you need to think about at least a month in advance. How many people will come to your party? What will you serve? Are there are special dietary needs or restrictions that you’ll need to honor? All of these things change the total amount that you’ll have to spend on the event. For something like Christmas, it’s best to get an idea of how you’re going to spend money on. Continue reading