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Saving and Budgeting for the Holidays

saving for holidays

With the dust settling on Halloween and Thanksgiving creeping up faster than anticipated, we are merely weeks away from Christmas! Say what?!

If you are anything like me, you’re thinking, “How did this get here so quickly?” and swearing it was January 2014 only a few moments ago, and now we will be winding up the new year with gifts and celebrations! It’s crazy how quickly time passes, which means you may or may not be ready for the holidays.

In case you’re not (we don’t blame you one bit), here are five simple steps you can take to ensure your holidays are free from financial stress:

1. Start saving now. If you haven’t already started saving for the holidays (see Step 5), now is the perfect time. Make a list of the things you think you will be purchasing for others and price them out. Then take the total amount you plan on spending and divide it by how many pay periods you have remaining in the rest of the year. This will help ensure you are able to pay for all of your holiday fun without going over budget!

If you don’t have many pay periods remaining, see Step 3 and Step 4.

2. Shop the online deals and use coupons. Last year I went to the mall and bought a ton of gifts, only to return them a couple weeks later when I found out they would be a heck of a lot cheaper online. I won’t make that mistake this year.

Do your research before you buy your gifts. Websites like Amazon and Ebates will give you some great deals on things you will be purchasing this holiday season.

Bonus tip: Shop through your credit card’s online shopping center to receive extra points for your holiday shopping.

3. Bake or make your Christmas gifts. If you are short for cash this holiday season you might consider baking your friends some sweet and delicious cookies or gingerbread men. Or, if you have a talent like sewing, knitting or painting, you might consider doing something like this for a gift to friends and family. It’s something meaningful but it also won’t break the bank.

4. Get a side hustle. There are tons of stores hiring seasonally that you could get on with to make some extra coin. If you need the extra money or have extra time, this may be the time to consider jumping on board to earn some extra holiday cash. This will ensure you have enough to make it through the gift buying extravaganza.

5. Lastly, I have to say you should think about making 2015 easier. Start saving up on January 1st for Christmas. While it can seem ridiculously early if you set amount you want to save and divide it by 12 months you can set up an automatic transfer every month to put away money for the holidays. If you are feeling strain this holiday season this could be the best way to mitigate that future stress.

What’s your best tip for budgeting through the holiday season? Share your wisdom in the comments.

About the Author

Janine Eccleston

Janine is a tax specialist and personal finance blogger for Calgary, AB. She is actively pursuing her CPA designation while fighting her way to financial freedom. She is the Vice-President External for the not-for-profit Her Success and enjoys sharing her financial knowledge with her peers. When she is not at work or studying Janine enjoys traveling, baking, yoga and ending off the day with a glass of wine.


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