5 Tips for Surviving the Holiday Season
Its that time of the year again- The Holidays are upon us. It's easy to completely get consumed with the holidays. One thing that most people tend to get in trouble with year after year is not properly preparing financially for the holidays. Even though we all know they are coming, it seems to creep up on us out of nowhere always. Before you know it its Thanksgiving and then only a matter of time before Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza. Here are a few tips to help us all get through the Holiday season without the fear of severely going into debt that takes many months for you to get out.
1. Make a BudgetThere are a couple different ways to set a holiday budget. You might want to establish a general spending cap, or try allocating a specific amount to each person on your gift list. Be aware, though, that while making a holiday budget is great, it can go sour in one of two ways:
- Setting a Budget That’s Too Tight. While setting a tight budget always starts with good intentions, an unrealistic one can do more harm than good. Without a little wiggle room for last-minute purchases or enough cash allocated for your mom’s gift, you can end up very frustrated. In fact, you might get so frustrated that you just toss your budget out the window. To prevent this from happening, look over your numbers. Do you really need to spend $50 on wine, or can you cut back in order to allocate more money to gifts instead? Don’t just pick numbers out of thin air – really think things over to ensure that you make the right decisions.
- Forgetting the Little Things. Gift giving is a huge expense during the holidays, but don’t forget the other costs you incur throughout the season. Parties, travel expenses, charitable donations, and holiday-themed activities can all add up to destroy a budget. If possible, add some money into your budget for unexpected costs so you’re not left scratching your head.