Christmas gifts

How to create a holiday budget you will stick to 

The holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. But worrying about your finances can put a damper on the joy, particularly if you’re stressing out about looming bill payments that will be due early in the New Year. Here are six ways to create a holiday budget you’ll stick to. 

Create individual spending plans 

The only way to effectively stay on track with your budget is to create one in the first place. Start by making a list of everyone you’d like to buy a gift for. Then, think about any other holiday-related expenses, such as cocktail parties and travel. Figure out how much you can actually afford to spend and pare back as necessary. 

Propose a gifting group

Rather than buying individual gifts for all your friends, colleagues and family members, why not encourage each group to hold a Secret Santa gift exchange? That way you cut down on the number of gifts everyone needs to buy – and the stress of finding the perfect item for everyone on your list. 

Plan a potluck 

Going out for dinner and/or drinks with multiple different groups of people can quickly break the bank. Cut back on costs by hosting a potluck and asking everyone to bring their favourite dish and beverage. Ideally, you can make this an annual tradition with hosting duties rotating through the group. 

Take advantage of sales 

You don’t have to wait until Boxing Day to get the best deals. Today, most retailers offer steep discounts on purchases well before the holidays actually roll around. There are also two big sales events that have become mini celebrations of their own: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Get crafty 

Whether your hobby is knitting, baking or arranging flowers, a homemade gift is one that comes from the heart. It can also save you some money over store-bought gifts. Consider creating gifts that tie into the season, such as decorations that can be used year after year, or some tasty holiday cookies. 

Book early 

If you’re going to be travelling for the holidays, it’s best to book any flights or accommodations as soon as you can. Not only will you avoid on missing out, prices for flights and hotels generally rise the closer to the date of departure. 

Learn more about how to create and stick to a budget, year-round, at abcmoneymatters.ca