Christmas doesn’t have to mean money stress and debt. Planning ahead and having a Christmas budget can help you stay on track and have a wonderful Christmas.
Christmas always seems to sneak up on us. We think we have so much time to save money and prepare but all of the sudden it’s here and we haven’t saved at all.
Recently I ran a survey and was surprised how few people had a Christmas budget. Many of the same people said money was their biggest stress when it came to Christmas.
There are so many expenses to think about gifts, parties, food, travel and so much more. Having a budget early and saving all year can really help make the holidays less stressful.
Starting as soon as possible is your best bet and will make it the easiest. I like to start right after Christmas but even if it’s already getting close to Christmas there is still time to save.
If you don’t know how to get started these tips and resources will help. It’s not as hard as you think and will make a big difference.
How to Budget to Save Money All Year for Christmas
Create a Holiday Budget
Make a list of all of your holiday expenses. If you still have receipts and info from last year be sure to review that. Make sure to include gifts, food, travel, wrapping supplies, decor, and anything else you may need.
Once you have a list estimate the costs of each item. If your total seems too high for you to save before Christmas consider making cuts. Maybe you don’t really need that new decor item or you can DIY a few gifts.
Get your budget to a reasonable amount. You can always buy more things if you are able to save more money but you want to set reasonable expectations for yourself.
Add this budget to your Christmas planner and make sure it’s in an accessible place. Having it but not being able to find it doesn’t help at all.
Decide How You Will Save
Now you need to look at the amount of money you need to save and decide how much to save each month or week. You may want to save more some months than others. Months with special events may need to be a bit lighter so be sure to take that into account.
The more time you have until Christmas the less you need to save each month. This is why it’s important to start as soon as you can.
Budget All Year
Having a monthly budget will help you be able to meet your Christmas savings goal. It also can help you make sure what you are budgeting for Christmas really is realistic.
Add the amount you need to save to your budget so it really happens. If you don’t have a budget yet Erin Condren has some great tools you can use like the PetitePlanner Budget Book to make it easy to make a budget and keep track of it.
If you have an Erin Condren Lifeplanner the monthly bill tracker dashboard is another great tool to help you stay on track. It’s a tool I use and love.
Once you have your Christmas budget and monthly budget set up you are on your way to a less stressful Christmas. You won’t feel as rushed to come up with the funds all at once and hopefully, you will avoid having Christmas debt.
If you want access to great freebies and to get reminders and tips to help you have a less stressful Christmas be sure to sign up below.