I wish I had had these holiday budgeting tips when I had my son. The holiday season is undoubtedly when you want to spend as many hours doing memorable things with those you love most.
However, the holiday expenses also accompany spending holidays with loved ones, including spending money on your children.
Growing up, it was tradition to make sure everything you did was about family. As you become older, you also will have friends you are very close to.
Giving holiday gifts is also a part of showing people how much you care for them, and being that we are not in the prime part of the holiday shopping season, there is no way that your bank account will escape spending money on something.
Several gift list posts will give you ideas on what you can get every person you love, including the little ones. You might be torn because you might have to choose between friends or family.
If you need ideas on what to get your kids for the holiday season, here are my top-ranking posts for the best ideas this season and all year round.
- Toddler gifts for Christmas
- Thanksgiving Crafts for Toddlers age 2
- Gift ideas for Toddlers
- 24 month old clothing deals
- A Great Gift Idea for Special Occasions
- 5 Must Have Baby Items for First Time Moms
This post is about holiday budgeting tips.
Managing Your Spending Habits
If you like spending money for the holidays, you want to ensure you know when to shop for the best deals. Black Friday sales are currently going on, and this is when you want to spend most of your money.
While creating a holiday savings account sounds excellent in theory. If you have small children, as I do, it’s going to take a lot of work to come up with a reasonable spending limit that depending on your child’s age, you will able able to stick with.
My son and dog (yes, I consider my corgi my child) don’t get many toys throughout the year, so my husband and I do come up with a dollar amount we feel comfortable spending and try to stick with that. This is a better way of looking at spending.
My son’s birthday falls right after the new year, so he gets two gifts for 11 days. If you don’t have that, you won’t have to spend as much money to have an excellent holiday for yourself, your family and your loved ones.
You can also create a shopping list of things you know you have to buy. By starting at the top of the year, you can find the best price at the right time of year because you are planning ahead of time.
This will ultimately lead to you having better control of your finances because if you are preplanned, you will make sure you have enough money for the more significant expenses you may have.
Managing Traveling Expenses
There are plenty of people who love or have to travel for the holidays. If you know in advance that you will be heading out of time, it’s a good time to start planning your travels.
Sometimes it pays to wait until the last minute to plan your travel, but now that travel is normalizing after the pandemic, you will have to take a different approach.
When thinking about travel, a tip is to get a head start on what you will be doing and how long you will be gone. If you have to attend any out-of-state holiday parties, you want to have a set amount of what you will spend since travel expenses can get very costly.
Meaning of the season
To decide who to spend your holidays with, it’s essential to consider the season’s meaning. Is it about sharing gifts and time with loved ones?
Or is it about going out and having a blast with an exciting holiday vacation? One thing’s for sure: it’s about the memories, so you must determine which memories you would treasure most.
Splitting the time
It also makes sense to consider whether splitting the time during the holidays between family and friends is doable. For example, you could spend days leading up to Christmas with friends and then Christmas Day with family.
Alternating years between both groups is a good option that would allow you to avoid choosing between family and friends. One year, commit to dedicate the season to family. Tell them that you’ll spend the holiday with friends the following year. Tell your friends about your plans so no one feels left out.
Mixing family and friends
Can your holiday events be arranged to include both family and friends? For example, instead of planning with your friends to go hiking in the Grand Canyon or bungee jumping off Niagara Falls, you could choose camping at a location that might even appeal to family members.
Make suggestions for other activities and events that a broader cross-section of loved ones can be a part of.
Get the best of both worlds.
Suggest to your family that you all spend the holidays together away from home. You can start a new tradition with your friends and family to share. For example, a vacation rental somewhere for a week at Christmas.
You can create new memories for everybody to hold dear for years.
Invite your friends to your family home, or host a Christmas dinner for your friends and family.
If feeding everyone at once is stressful, host a Christmas Open House and serve the food buffet style. Friends and family can pop in throughout the day, giving you more time to visit each other.
You can spend the holidays with more than one set of exceptional people.
With careful consideration and planning, you can split your time amongst everyone who matters most so you’re a part of everybody’s holiday memories – and they’re all a part of yours.
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Credit card debt is real. Cashing out all the money on your debit card is also real. While it happens, and it can be hard to keep up with all the deals and incentives like Cyber Monday, you have to develop financial goals.
Only you know your financial situation the best, but going into holiday debt is different from starting the next year.
You can get lovely and affordable gifts under $20. If you have to spend money on last-minute gifts, set price limits.
You can also comparison shop for different gifts to avoid overspending. Gift cards are a great way of getting a good deal because you can put whatever amount you want on them and let the recipient can buy what they want.
Homemade gifts are another great way to manage how you spend money. If you have little ones like I do, making gift exchanges with something from a child in the family will make it extra special.
While I’m an expert on tracking your spending on babies and toddlers, looking at your overall budget and making simple, smart choices will help lead to the end of the year being successful and, overall, a joyous time.
The most important thing to remember is that you will be able to spend quality time with those you love, and that’s all that matters. If you have any holiday budget tips you want to share, leave them in the comments.
This post was about holiday budgeting tips.
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