Saturday, December 5, 2009

Holiday Budgeting

By Leah Gorham

In the midst of a recession it is especially important to budget for holiday spending. In order to ensure that finally finances aren't derailed as a result of overspending on gifts and other holiday festivities, a budget is a useful tool. First, determine what you can afford to spend and set this figure as your overall holiday spending limit. Moreover, set a limit for each area of holiday spending, such as food, gifts, and decorations. Write these figures down and track your spending throughout the season. Don't panic if you overspend in one of the categories; just scale your spending back in another category to make up for it.

There are several things holiday you can do to get the most for their money this season and not blow your holiday budget. First, do not save all your holiday shopping and don't be afraid to ask a retailer to match a competitor's advertised price. Second, make a list, and stick to it. Do not be lured by discounts on big ticket items, such as electronics, into buying more than you need. Lastly, plan on shopping around more- tighter inventories this year may mean that you have to check several stores before you find what you want.

Other tips for sticking to your holiday budget include making homemade holiday gifts. Homemade gifts can be thoughtful and unique. You can also get creative- instead of giving gifts to all of your family members, throw a party and invite everyone to bring a home-made dish. Then at the end, provide everyone with the recipes from the party. Sometimes being creative and thinking outside the box can creative lasting holiday memories and help you stick to your budget at the same time.

Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

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