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The holidays can be a lot of fun and they can be very stressful. It is the season of giving, which often means it is also the season of spending. One of the best things you can do to help make the holidays a lot less stressful is to create and stick to a holiday budget. Creating a holiday spending plan will reduce your stress. And make sure you don’t go into debt this holiday season.

To combat seasonal budget blues, commit to ditching credit card spending entirely. Instead use cash only during the holidays. If you don’t have it, don’t spend it. I discovered that with this approach, planning is everything. If you plan early, you’ll have a comfortable nest egg built up by the time you start making a list and checking it twice.

List your Holiday Expenses

Make sure you record every holiday-related expense. Even if it feels insignificant.  Small items, such as wrapping paper, bows, and tiny add-on gifts can slowly build up. Leaving you with less money to spend on the more important things. If you keep track of even the most trivial expenses, you’ll be able to make any necessary adjustments.

Decide your Spending Limit

Determine how much you have available to cover Christmas expenses this year. When you are considering this amount be sure that you only use money that you have set aside for Christmas.

Fill Out Your Holiday Budgeting Sheets

Create a list for your holiday shopping. You should have one or two ideas within your price range for each individual. If you take the time to search the sales papers you may be able to find some great gifts for less money than you budgeted.

Record your friends and family members in our handy holiday budgeting sheets 

 

Track Your Spending

Then begin shopping with your list. You should also take your budget sheet with you. As you buy each item cross it off your list and subtract it from your running Christmas budget total. This will let you know how your budget is doing at all times. It makes it easier to make adjustments between categories if needed. Tracking your spending is the biggest key to sticking to your budget.

The holidays might be the most wonderful time of the year, but they’re also the most expensive. By planning ahead and knowing your budget, the holidays may turn out to be the easiest part of the season.

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