Budget Calculation in Holiday Season
The holiday season is off to start which means you are about to deal with huge expenses. How should I manage my expenses in these holidays? Which is the most effective way to plan my budget? You must have been asking yourself these questions.A well-planned holiday budget is what you need the most in this holiday season. Be Proactive, plan your budget beforehand and enjoy your holidays later. Here is a strategy that will help you plan your holiday budget meticulously:
1. Prepare a shopping list
Making a shopping list can save you from buying stuff that you don’t need. In the holiday season consumers buy most of the things by just viewing how much they can save from buying that product. According to psychologists the feeling that they have bought a product at the lowest price gives buyers an immense sense of happiness irrespective of the fact that whether they needed it or not. Don’t let yourself get caught in this trap.
Make a shopping list and make at least three categories:
• Personal shopping: It includes what you wanted to buy for yourself or your family. It may include apparel, toys for kids or even a book that you wanted to read in your holidays.
• Home-related stuff: Kitchenware, decoration pieces and other related stuff.
• Gifts: You must have been invited to different dinners or parties. Make a list of your hosts by considering the invitations that you have already got and anticipating the ones that you may get later.
2. Double-check your List
You have prepared the shopping list. Kuddos! You have done the main task but you need to revisit it. In my opinion first shopping list is like your first draft of writing which needs to be edited again and again. You may have included few things that are not needed to buy in this season and can be postponed. I recommend you to re-assess your shopping list after a day or two with fresh mind. It will enable you to look at the things with different perspective.
3. Go for a Holiday Budget Planner
A holiday budget planner can help you monitor your expenses. It is a tool that assists you to document all the information of expenses and income along with the future goals in a specified time period.
How to use A Budget Planner
In a budget planner you need to mention everything relevant to expenses and income in this holiday season even if it’s about few cents. Include all forms of income like your monthly salary, dividends, bonuses, holiday stipends, return on investment, savings and government sponsored funds and add it. Similarly jot down all forms of expenses like bills, rent, grocery, mortgages, debt, taxes, shopping, travelling. Calculate your expense and subtract it from the income. The positive answer means you have some savings and if an answer is in minus then you need to control your expenses to manage your budget.
Advantages of a Budget Planner
It’s a great idea to use budget planner or template because most of the times we ignore those mini expenses of daily routine which sums up to form a huge expense. For example, you may not include the coffee that you buy two times a day or a costume for your kid’s school function that you just bought other day. I call these small expenses “super expenses” because at the end of each month these are the expenses which don’t let you save money. To enjoy your holidays and finish them on a financially happy note, holiday budget planner is your saviour.
4. Online Shopping
Online shopping is easy, fun and entertaining. In this holiday season go for online shopping as it will save your travel expense. Apart from saving your money, online shopping also saves your time and energy which you can exert in a more productive task. Today most of the people shop online particularly in the holiday season it is a preferred mode of shopping because various discounts are available, you can compare the prices of different retailers and chose the one suites best to you. There is another way to get the maximum out of the online shopping and that is to select all the products, add them into your cart and save them for Free Shipping Day to eliminate the shipping cost.
5. Check Your Credit Cards
You have used credit cards throughout the year. Check your credit cards you may have rewards that you can use in exchange of gifts or online shopping.
6. Buy a New Travel Credit Card
Whenever you buy a new travel credit card, there are few bonuses that you are rewarded with. Do some research and buy a travel credit card with most of the benefits if you are planning to travel in these holidays. There are also some special offers available relevant to holiday gifts and preferred airlines. Go for it! Save your money when you are travelling.
7. Homemade Gifts
There are numerous simple and easy homemade gifts through which you can save your money while not sacrificing much.
You have prepared your shopping list and have also included gifts that are to be purchased. But you can also save your money on gifts by preparing gifts at home. Following is the list of simple and easy homemade gifts:
• Homemade Soaps.
• Strawberry or Apple Jam
• Chocolate Cookies
• Greeting Cards
• Bags or pouches.
• Photo Frames
And the list goes on. Even if you don’t know how to make any of the above mentioned gifts, you can watch tutorial videos on YouTube and other websites and make these gifts yourself at home. The best thing about homemade gifts is that you spend the most important things you have i.e. your time, energy, creativity and emotions.
Other Tips to Save Money
Saving money is not that difficult, you just need to be intelligent and creative. You can organize a family dinner at home. Make your family dinner lavish and nothing less than a dinner in an expensive restaurant by giving some extra attention to decoration and presentation.
If you have invited family and friends at your home, control your budget by making dishes that are less costly to make yet tasty and presentable. Do not buy the things that you think your guests will bring for you as gifts. You should also be viewing promotional offers of your credit cards in the holiday season which will help you buy some amazing deals.
The crux of the matter is that you should have planned everything before to save yourself from last minute stress. You deserve to enjoy these holidays and celebrate amazing moments with your family and friends without any stress. Plan ahead of time, go for simple and easy means to save money, get your budget template and keep a track of your expenses while enjoying holidays.