The great thing about budgets is that they’re meant to get you into a financial groove so that you don’t have to think about your finances all the time, yet know that you’re under control. However, certain expenses can come along and really upset that groove. The holiday season is definitely one of those times.
Between gifts, groceries, travel and other costs, there’s a lot to consider. Our second entry in our Raccoon Valley Bank Skills Academy for the month focuses on making a budget for the holiday season, as well as how to stick to it.
Think about your income
Whether you’re single and have only your income to consider, married with a spouse’s income in the mix or have additional income, you need to know what money you have coming in.
Take your expenses into account
While you have to know what cash is coming in, you also need to have a handle on what is going out. Loan payments and credit card payments don’t stop just because it’s the holiday season. be sure to plan around these monthly expenses to avoid surprises.
Try to guess your holiday expenses
It may be hard to predict your expenses, but by estimating your expenses on the high side, you build yourself a little wiggle room. Gifts, decorations, travel and food are just a few of the expenses you need to keep in mind.
Revisit and revise
A budget is a working document that is always changing, so your holiday budget should be the same. If you overspend in one area, then you need to cut back into another.
Everyone deserves to be rewarded for doing a good job. If you have a little room left after you get done with your shopping, reward yourself with a little treat for the savvy shopping you’ve done.
By knowing what you have to work with, figuring your expenses and revising your budget as you go, you can find success during the holiday season. For more resources regarding budgeting, take a look back at our previous blog posts. You can also come in to your nearest Raccoon Valley Bank office to see how we can help.