Money tips: how to keep a holiday budget
End-of-year discretionary spending can quickly spiral out of control. Here’s a look at common mistakes and tricks to stick to a budget.
How to keep a holiday budget
Amount consumers spend on end-of-the-year shopping.1 The PLAN: In your budget planner, include everything — not just gifts; include party essentials, wrapping paper, and cards.
Amount U.S. consumers spend over the Thanksgiving weekend, which includes Black Friday and Cyber Monday.2 The PLAN: Skip the holiday hysteria: Create your list ahead of time and watch pricing and sales for the best deals.
Amount spent on holiday presents for one child.3 The PLAN: Guilt can quickly set in when it’s time to shop for kids. Set some expectations with kids first (for example, something you want, something you need, something creative) to help manage expectations and your budget.
Consumers who take four to six months to pay off their credit card after holiday spending.4 The PLAN: Skip the credit cards and use a prepaid debit card.
Time that experts say to wait before making an online purchase. The PLAN: Think through online purchases, comparing them to your list and your budget rather than acting on impulse.
Consumers who’ve dipped into their retirement savings to purchase holiday gifts.5 The PLAN: Consider ways to save — without impacting your future. Secondhand stores, DIY options, and even skipping gifts (talk about it first) can help trim overspending opportunities.
Average cost of ingredients for a traditional Thanksgiving meal.6 The PLAN: Host a potluck holiday party to keep budgets under control.
Amount you’d save for the holidays by doing the 52-week challenge: $1 the first week of the year, $2 the second week, and add a dollar ($1, $2, $3) each week through $52 on week 52. The PLAN: Figure out your budget on January 1 and save the appropriate amount each month.
Consumers who don’t stick to their holiday spending plans.7 The PLAN: Buy throughout the year as you see items on sale, and schedule monthly or weekly budget check-ins to keep spending in check.
Need more help planning a budget or paying off a loan or credit card? View st8fm.com/calcs for a variety of helpful calculators.