Seven tips for sticking to a holiday budget

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Budgeting. (PHOTO: Getty/Gallo Images)
Budgeting. (PHOTO: Getty/Gallo Images)

The holiday season is one of giving, which often means it’s also the season of spending.

And when you’re having fun in the sun, it’s easy to allow spending to get out of hand.

As a result, we often get back from a break and are instantly stressed about how we’ll make it to payday. The situation is even worse if you’ve loaded your credit card with holiday splurge purchases and now have that added amount to pay off.

Help take the stress out of the holiday season by creating and sticking to a holiday budget with these easy tips.

1.       Plan ahead

Begin by making a list of all your expected holiday expenses. This will give you an idea of things you’ll need to spend money on during the holiday season.

2.       Set a spending limit

Decide on how much you’re going to set aside for holiday expenses and don’t plan to spend more than you have saved or can afford.

3.       Assign money to each category

It’s better to divide your budget according to the various spending categories you’ll have this year, according to balance.com. This means assigning a specific amount for each gift and outing.

4.       Create a shopping list

Draw up a list before you head to the store. According to Justmoney, this will help you think of individual gifts within your price range and look out for sales.

5.       Track your purchases

As you spend, subtract the amount from your running festive season budget total. This will let you know how well you’re sticking to your budget.

6.       Opt for Secret Santa

Each person draws a name and you buy a gift for that person only. Thestreet.com says this can help cut your expenses for friends or family.

7.    Entertain at home

Choose to entertain at home rather than eating out. Guests will probably be more than happy to contribute.

Sources: balance.com, Justmoney, thestreet.com

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