The winter holidays make up nearly 20% of all sales for retailers in a calendar year with an average spend of $730 per shopper, according to the National Retail Foundation®. Each year we tell ourselves we’ll be better prepared for the holidays next year, but why not make 2016 the year you finally stick to a holiday budget?
Your first step to stay within your holiday budget is determining what that budget should be. Once you’ve established the dollar amount you want to stick to, a little planning and coordination will help you stay on track. Take your defined value and divide it into three categories: gifts, travel (if applicable) and holiday meal prep. If additional categories are necessary, allocate your budget accordingly. Once you’ve determined your gifting budget you’ll want to make a list of every person for whom you expect to purchase a gift. This list should include any possible last-minute gifts for teachers, neighbors, or office gift exchanges. With this list, include a value for each person, representing the amount you’re able to spend for that individual. The total spend of all recipients should not exceed your predetermined gifting budget. By planning ahead for your holiday meal preparation, you can save you both time and money; schedule your shopping in advance in order to avoid last minute spending. If you’re hosting a holiday meal, consider making the event a potluck and encourage everyone to bring their favorite holiday dish. The important thing to remember is to stick to the designated amounts you’ve assigned yourself and if you can stay within your budget, the holidays will be easier on you and your wallet. Sources: nrf.com and feedthepig.org