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Financial Buzz

How to Budget for the Holidays

Did you know that the average person spends $700-$800 on Holiday gifts alone?

There are many hidden costs during the holidays. Planning and budgeting can help you make the most of your money through the holidays. Here are some tips on how to budget!

  1. Take some time to reflect on past holiday spending. Notice what went well and where you spent money on worthwhile items and where you could have done without spending.

  2. Set an overall budget for your holidays. Make sure the budget includes the most important items and recognize there are other costs related including gift-wrapping, cards, decorations, parties and eating out. Planning and creativity can minimize these expenses so you spend on the items you value.

  3. Cut back on purchasing drinks like coffee, tea and bottled water to save. Fill a water bottle before you head out for the day. Purchased drinks can be $2-$10, and you can truly save at least $100 by skipping them over the holiday season.

  4. Plan ahead for travel so you can get the best price and spend the holiday with loved ones. Use third-party apps like the Hopper or Kayak to watch flights, get notifications when the price is lowered, and compare options from other airports in the area.

  5. Shop wisely. Make a big list of ideas for gifts and entertaining. Look for the best option to fit the occasion at the best cost. 

  6. Know when to stop. When you have checked everything off your list, you can stop. Extra stops to see what is available can lead to unplanned spending.

Cheryl Young is currently the CFO of GW Lisk, a custom solution manufacturing company based in upstate New York.  She has 20-plus years of experience with helping companies and families make good financial decisions. She is the founder and creator of the Facebook “Find Your Money Challenge.”