Budgeting for the Holidays

It’s that time of year for giving gifts, entertaining, hosting holiday parties and for many, overspending and financial stress.  Setting a realistic holiday budget and making sure to stick to it are the first steps to a more affordable and less stressful season.  The tips below will allow you to enjoy the season without letting holiday spending get the best of you.

Set Your Budget

The best way to start making a holiday budget is to look at your spending during last year’s holiday season.  In what areas did you spend more than planned?  Next, make a list of the purchases and events you plan to spend money on this year.  Consider the major spending categories like gifts, entertaining, meals and travel and then estimate how much you can afford to spend in each category.  Knowing your spending goals beforehand will help you stay on track financially as the season heats up.

Get Creative

One great way to save and impress friends and family is to get creative.  Store-bought gifts are great, but homemade gifts are just as meaningful.  Plus, the recipients will truly appreciate your time and effort.  If you don’t have the time or skills for this, check out the ultimate marketplace for homemade gifts, Etsy.com.  You can find crafty and items you can personalize from over 200,000 sellers at affordable prices.

Join Together

Instead of excessively spending money on each other this year, join together with family members to help those who may be less fortunate.  Or, join together to draw names of which family members/friends will buy gifts for one other.  This cuts spending and allows you to focus on one individual to make their holiday extra special.

Entertain for Less

Holidays are a wonderful time to entertain, but a little planning and budgeting can help you avoid financial headaches.  Based on your party size, you might want to consider including BYOB on your invitations, or ask guests to bring a dessert or appetizer of their choice.  This ensures that there will be a variety of treats that suit many tastes, while also cutting your costs by quite a bit.

We hope that these tips help you enjoy an affordable and stress-free holiday season! After the dust settles and the new year begins, we’d love to get together to assess your financial situation and to make sure you’re on track for 2017 and beyond. Please visit our website or give us a call at 970.419.8212 so that we can set up some time for a no-charge, no-obligation initial meeting.

This article is for informational purposes only. This website does not provide tax or investment advice, nor is it an offer or solicitation of any kind to buy or sell any investment products.  Please consult your tax or investment advisor for specific advice.