We love the holidays! All year long, we look forward to delicious food, holiday parties and gift exchanges. Unfortunately, these expenses can add up. Without proper planning, holiday spending can get out of control and throw your finances off balance.
To keep your spending on track this year, we recommend creating a specific budget for the holidays. Sunset Bank and Savings can help you get started with a few simple steps to create your own holiday budget that is simple to stick to.
What you’ll need:
- If you are familiar with Microsoft Office, then all you’ll need is Excel.
- If not, you will need paper, a pencil and a calculator.
Step 1: Set Your Limit
If you already use a monthly budget, you can easily set your holiday spending limit. If you don’t budget regularly, you will need to track your monthly income and expenses along with the amount saved that you can dedicate to holiday spending.
Step 2: Divide and Conquer
Categorize your budget into different groups for your holiday spending. Create a section for meals, gift giving, decorations and whatever else you typically spend money on at this time of year. After separating the expenses into categories, set your spending limit for each category.
Step 3: Track Everything
Keep all your receipts so you can track your expenses. Continuously update your budget with actual spending to know how much money you have left in each category.
Step 4: Over/Uinder Adjustments
If you spend too much in one area, make up for the expense by cutting back in another.. Don’t adjust your limits too often though – the more you save in each category the better!
Planning for the holidays can be stressful enough – don’t let finances be one of your worries. If you need help with your personal finances, contact Sunset Bank. We would be happy to help!