Simple Step By Step Holiday Spending Guide Perfect For Your Budget

This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust. All opinions are my own.

Start thinking about the holidays now? Yes, absolutely! Maybe you’re like me and have experienced the most amazing holidays, only to greet January buried in all the bills that came along with the holiday spending. The good news is that you don’t have to experience all the stress that holiday spending (& even overspending) brings. With some careful holiday planning and budgeting work now, you can have the most amazing holiday season with your loved ones stress-free! With a few holiday spending tips, you’ll have everything you need in place before the holiday rush. 

Whether it’s January or September, you really can’t start preparing for your holiday planning and spending too early. The earlier you start, the easier it will be as well. With a tight budget, starting your holiday season saving early will be life changing. 

Ready for stress free holidays? Then you are in the right place!

Here’s your simple holiday spending guide no matter your holiday budget.

holiday spending tips
 

Start planning early

There is nothing worse than the after holiday hangover when all the holiday spending (& overspending) bills start pouring in. It is always an eye opening experience to see it all added up in one place — and usually not in a good way.

By planning early, you have enough time to think through things thoroughly so that nothing falls through the cracks. And when you have the plan early, you can start working with the plan early, too.

Know how much you have to spend

It is essential for you to know how much you can afford to spend on the holidays, and your spending will include much more than just gifts. Living with a budget means not just buying things and letting the chips fall where they may later on.

Living with a budget and avoiding going into debt for your holiday spending means thinking through it all.

The best news is that it couldn’t be easier with the Holiday Budget Tool, which you can find right here at onUp.com. This amazing resource walks you through creating your overall budget as well as your holiday budget and even a gifting guide that lists all the people you might have to purchase gifts for.

And, it even gives you a space for “wiggle room,” which is such a smart thing.

christmas planning

Accurately determine everyone you need to buy gifts for

It is so easy to forget about everyone you have to buy gifts for when you’re not in the heat of the holiday season. When taking an account of everyone you have to buy gifts for, don’t forget about the smaller gifts like those for teachers, neighbors, your lawn service people, and more. 

Even if you are only buying a $5 gift item for people, these gifts should all be accounted for in the holiday planning stage.

Set a budget for each person

The truth is, you won’t spend the same amount on each person. For instance, I spend more on my kids than I do on my sister. So, determine those amounts now. 

The trick is that the person by person budget has to fit within the budget you set in the above step.

If you only have $500 to spend on the holidays this year, make sure the budgets you set for each person will work within that same $500 budget without going over.

budget tricks

Start shopping now

Start looking for sales and buying gifts and other holiday necessities now. For instance, I love buying stamps for holiday cards long before November so that the expense of holiday cards is out of the way early. 

When it comes to buying gifts, the ideal is to shop year round since you can take advantage of sales and specials. When you know who you have to buy for and how much you have to spend, this becomes so easy. 

Not to mention, the stress saved by not having to shop for everyone during the holidays makes planning ahead of time truly amazing!

Figure out all your additional expenses

There are so many expenses that we so often forget about. These could be things like gas for traveling or parties, travel expenses, postage for cards, matching Christmas sweaters, and even all the extra food that usually needs to be purchased for making your favorite holiday dishes. 

Take the time now to think through all the added spending you have during the holidays and make an accounting for that now.

Add 10%

No matter how thorough we think we are, inevitably there will be some sort of expenses that are missed. By adding 10% now, you can avoid coming up with the money for the overages when the holiday bills come in. 

With anything budget related, it is always, always best to err on the side of caution and aim high.

Do the math

At this point, completing your holiday planning becomes nothing more than a simple math equation. 

You take your budgeted holiday expenses from the steps above and divide that dollar amount by the number of months you have until the holiday spending starts — most likely in November or December.

Ask yourself this question: How much to I have to save each month to put toward my holiday spending to avoid going into debt this holiday season?

And because of your careful work in the steps above in addition to the Holiday Budget Tool from onUp.com, you can accurately answer that question. 

So often the holidays are met with their own stressors. A little smart budget planning for the holidays now will give you the opportunity for a little more joy this holiday season. 

I am so excited to be able to focus on spending time with my loved ones during the holidays now that I know my holiday budget will be in tip top shape. 

This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust. All opinions are my own.

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