Keep on top of your budget during the holidays, without becoming The Grinch
We love the holidays – there’s nothing like spending time with your family, overindulging on food, kicking off our flats and relaxing from our busy lives for a little while.
But doing the holidays right requires more than finding that perfect Turkey recipe. For many people, the holidays result in a financial hangover that you can’t sleep off (just in time for New Year’s!).
No need to fear! We’ve developed some ways to help you keep on top of your budget during the holidays, without becoming The Grinch:
Make a plan
The only surprises this season should be the awesome gift you just got or how much Eggnog Uncle Jerry drank. You can avoid the shock of an empty wallet by planning ahead.
Before you dive into these busy weeks, map out what you expect to spend (gifts, food, travel). If you haven’t already started shopping for gifts, you can set a specific limit so that you know in advance how much you will spend. Make sure it’s within your “fun” budget , because cutting into necessities can lead to a never-ending spiral of debt.
So your whole family is in town, and normally this would be the perfect opportunity to go out to dinner or to the movies. But won’t that cut into your budget? You can avoid the spending (and dreaded movie lines) by volunteering. It’s a great opportunity to bring the family closer together while also doing something worthwhile for the community.
Homemade is the new Tiffany’s
Whip out your arts and crafts kit: gifts you can make are often far more appreciated than a traditional budget-busting present. And homemade gifts are a great option for the budget conscious.
A homemade gift shows the recipient that you not only thought of them, but gave the gift of time to create something unique and personal that was made with love. My personal favorite is creating homemade dog-treats for fellow dog-lovers. The possibilities are endless, and only limited by your imagination.
Mix it up
Having mouths to feed is an understatement during the holidays. For a budget-friendly way to have awesome holiday dinners, consider a potluck. Get everyone involved in the celebration by asking your guests to bring their own dishes. It is financially healthier for you, and it is fun for everyone else. And if you’re worried about throwing the “perfect party,” there are countless ways to make it a great experience. Giving the party a theme and organizing a menu of dishes which guests can choose to bring are just a couple of the ways you can ensure the party will be absolutely fab – and it’s a great way to get all of your guests in on the celebration!
Spend where it really matters
Above all, time is your most valuable resource. The holidays are about so much more than planning the perfect party or spending on lavish gifts for friends and family; they’re about spending time with those you love, so pay attention to what really matters. You work hard all year, so take some time to enjoy the company of the people that matter the most. The memories you’ll make with family and friends are the true gifts.
Sharing is caring
What are your best ways to keep your budget on track during the holidays? Share with the LTH tribe and get some free tips from them!