For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to tackle trying to find a new place to move, new work responsibilities, and all of the upcoming holiday plans. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming, but I’ve been slowly getting prepared for all of it. I’ve been getting mentally prepared, but also financially prepared. That especially included getting my finances prepared for holiday spending.
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend over $720 BILLION this year on holiday gifts and garb – an increase from last year. It sounds insane, but it feels like the norm.
The first thing I do is determine and make a budget. In my opinion, this is the first thing I have to do. By having a locked budget, it helps me to not overspend and know what I’m working with. According to the NRF, the average American will spend a little over $1000 this year during the holiday season. However, my budget is $500 this year, which is good since I don’t have a lot of people on my list. The amount seems small, but it’s doable for the size of my list.
Speaking of lists, this is the next thing I do. Personally, setting the budget first makes it easier to assess who needs to be on the list. As much as I would love to shop and give a gift to everyone in my life, it’s just not feasible. So, with my budget, I can decide who makes the cut and doesn’t. This is one of the times when I’m glad that I don’t come from a huge family.
The final thing I do while prepping my finances is to remember why I don’t want to overspend – overall finance goals. If so, you might spend the next 11 months paying off credit cards and accounts. It’s hard to enjoy the holidays when you are swimming in debt.