My Money Q&A: How Should I Budget For The Holidays?

By Kelly Lynn Adams

My Money Question… I’ve been working really hard to save, pay off debt and establish an emergency fund – but with the holidays coming up, I’m afraid I’m going to undo all my progress. How should I budget for the holidays?

My Money Answer… With the holiday gift giving season almost upon us, it is normal to feel anxiety around the fact that you could undo all of your financial progress that you have made up until now, so below are 4 tips on how to budget for the holidays and stay on financial track!

Create & Manage A Holiday Budget – It is essential that you start a separate holiday budget as soon as you can, sites like mint.com can help you create and manage your holiday budget but before you get started be sure to identify everyone that you want to shop for, how much you want to spend on this year’s holiday gift giving and how much you can save each day or week to put towards your holiday funds.

Get Creative – It is all about saving money and finding bargains during the holidays. Check out any sales that are going on now that could possibly make for a holiday gift for someone on your list. You also want to check out Black Friday sales and online discounts (especially those on Cyber Monday, the day after black Friday). If you don’t have time to shop, or are having trouble deciding, consider making a donation to a charity the recipient cares about through a site like donorschoose.org.

Crowd Fund – With Plumfund you can create your own fund page!

Pay With Cash – This year, pay with cash rather than with credit as often as possible. Put aside all the cash you’re willing to spend before you begin shopping in order to force yourself to only spend what you have, stick to your budget and get creative when looking for gifts.

Increase Your Income – Consider seasonal work with retailers! Right now retailers are getting ready for the holiday season and are looking for additional staff. Part time work during the holidays is a great way to earn extra cash as well as taking advantage of employee discounts!

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