Start Your Holiday Planning Now — And Save

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

August may not be over yet, but it is the perfect time to start your holiday planning. Not only can you get great seasonal sale prices on holiday travel, but you can have a much more organized holiday experience — while saving money.

Planning Ahead for Holiday Expenses

One of the best things you can do is plan ahead for your upcoming expenses. Living a frugal lifestyle requires that you think about possible expenses and look for ways to save up for them. This means that if you do not want your holiday spending to break your budget, you should sit down and estimate how much you are likely to spend. Here are some of the expenses you are likely to incur during the holiday season:

  • Gifts (especially for the children)
  • Food
  • Entertaining
  • Decorating
  • Overnight guests

If you have access to your records from last year, this is a good time to look through them and see how much you spent. Last year’s spending makes a great starting point for figuring out this year’s probable expenses. List the gifts you plan to buy for others, as well as the food and drink you might need for entertaining, and to feed guests. You should also make a list of the decorations you already have, and figure out which need to be replaced.

Now that you have an idea of what your holiday expenses will amount to, you can begin to make plans. If you know that you will likely spend $1,000 this holiday season, you have September, October and November to save up. That’s three months. That means you need to set aside $333 each month to prepare.

You can also begin by buying things slowly. Armed with a list of what you need, you can keep an eye out for sales and for appropriate gifts. This spreads out your spending so that you are not dropping the entire amount at once. Planning ahead in this manner also ensures that you have more choices and the ability to take advantage of sale prices, saving you money on your holiday shopping. You might not even spend your entire allotted amount if you can get early discounts on some items!

Planning Even Further Ahead

If you really want to minimize the impact of holiday spending on your finances, you can plan a year in advance. If you divide that $1,000 by 11 months, you can set aside $91 each month for holiday spending. Plus, if you are organized enough to keep track of decorations and other accessories, you can take advantage of the post-holiday discounts on some items. This can be a real help as you plan for the next round of holiday spending. Not only that, but if you put the money in a high interest savings account, you can earn a little extra.

Even though it may seem like overkill to prepare now for the holidays, it really is a good idea. Holiday spending often puts a big strain on the budget because it represents large expenditures out of the ordinary. If you plan ahead, though, building holiday spending into your budget over a periods of months, you can reduce the stress that can come with holiday spending.

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: