Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Saving Series: Celebrating Christmas on budget Tip #1 PLAN

Saving Series: Celebrating Christmas on budget Tip #1 PLAN

Plan. Plan. Plan some more!

A stress free and budget friendly holiday all comes down to planning in advance. As Dave Ramsey says, Christmas is not an emergency – it falls on December 25 every year, so you know it’s coming.

The #1 tool to plan your holiday is to create a budget. Just like a monthly expense budget, create a holiday budget that covers ALL of your extra holiday expenses. Take 10 mins, sit down and create one today. Tuck it away in a safe place where you can refer to it over the next 6 months.

Below are a few examples of what you may want to include in your budget. I’m not going to harp on how much money you should be spending on what – every family is different. But this is thrifty blog, after all, so I’m obviously going to advocate keeping the holidays simple. And since I’m a follower of Jesus Christ, my Christmas season revolves around celebrating his birth – and I want to do whatever I can to keep my family’s perspective on him.

Items to include in your budget:

1) GIFTS     Decide who you are buying for and the amount you intend to spend on each person. Already have gift ideas? Jot them down as well. Doing stockings? That adds up, so include it in the budget. Don't forget teacher, Sunday school teacher gifts. Tips for service workers, etc.

2) SUPPLIES   Estimate what wrapping and gift supplies you may need. Paper, bags, tissue paper, bows, tape, Christmas cards, stamps, etc.

3) DECORATIONS AND DECOR    Do you purchase a live tree? Need new outdoor lights, etc? Centerpieces for your table?

4) FOOD   Estimate the cost for additional food(not regular groceries), baking, Christmas dinner, entertaining, etc.

5) TRAVEL Will you be leaving town? Hotel, gas, restaurants, etc..that all adds up quickly.

6) EVENTS  Hosting a party? Have a company party to attend? Christmas concert? Do your children need "Christmas outfits"

7) CONTRIBUTIONS   Making an end of year charitable donation?

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