02 October 2014

Holiday Planning (Part 1)

It may be the beginning of October, but can you believe it is also the start of the Holiday Season?  I was in Target the other day (my favorite store ever!) and right next to the Halloween section was the Christmas section.  It seems like every year it starts earlier than the previous.

Seeing all the holiday decorations made me start thinking about planning our family's own Christmas for this year. . . and out came the Holiday Budget printable!  It is so important for my husband and I to budget out our Christmas or we (okay, let's be honest, I) will over spend immensely.  The best way for us to budget out for all the gift giving and parties is to spread it out over several months.  It doesn't seem as big as a financial hit when we do a little at a time.
When budgeting for your holiday season, I have some helpful tips to help you stick to it.  The first one might seem overly obvious: Stick to your budget!  Set limits for all gifts you plan on giving and keep track of what you spend.  It is too easy to just impulse buy and then realize you have over spent by the end of the holiday season.  Setting out a limit for each person will be helpful while out shopping and most likely keep you from overspending.

Shop around before you buy.  Shopping online is a great venue to allow price checking and ensuring you are receiving the best price.  It is also more convenient (where else can you shop in your pajamas while watching your favorite holiday movie?) and reduces the impulse buys the brick and mortar stores setup everywhere you look.

Always try to use debit before credit.  Spend what money you have, not what money you don't.  Sure, if you use the store credit card you may save a little bit of money up front, but if you do not pay it off in time you will pay way more in interest charges.  Some stores allow you to make payments in store at the registers.  If these stores also have discounts for using their branded credit card, it makes logical sense to charge to the card and turn around and make the payment right then.

Keeping these few tips in mind, here is a freebie to help you keep your holiday on budget this year!  Click here to download and use your Holiday Budget planner.

Here is my planner for this year.  
(Sorry for the low picture quality, it was late and my camera battery wasn't charged!)

Up Next: Holiday Planning Part 2 - With another freebie!!

How do you like to stick to your holiday budget?

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