November 8, 2016

How to BUDGET for the holidays

"How much do you spend on holiday gifts?" is one of the MOST POPULAR questions in MOST of the groups I'm apart of on Facebook right now.

What's MORE surprising is the amount of people who have ZERO idea how much they actually spend! Is that you?

Here's some background about us -
  1.  We used to be those people
  2.  We regret it
  3.  We are budgeters now
  4.  Thank you Dave Ramsey

Now, I will say we are not the envelope kinda DR people. Do I think that's ABSOLUTELY effective? YES. But, I know what works for US and I pay attention to the rewards from companies by using auto pay, debit options, etc. Envelopes don't work for us. HOWEVER, a BUDGET works for EVERYONE.

Here's some things I look at when sitting down to make our budget -

  • Are we currently in debt pay off mode? If so, what is left over after making our snowball payments?
  • Are we traveling? If so, what money is needed for travel expenses?
  • Are we hosting any get togethers at our home that would cost money? If yes, how much?
  • Are we buying gifts for ALL family or just our spouse and kids?
After I know the answers to those questions, I can make a better decision as to what we have to work with. Because we're currently in debt pay off mode, we made the appropriate arrangements in the budget with that in mind. We're also traveling, so gas and food expenses have to also be taken into consideration. This year we are not hosting anything (we plan to next year once we're in our new home) so those expenses aren't in our budget this year! Gifts - we focus on gifts for family we will celebrate with.

A lot of people ask how we handle gifts for our kids and honestly, we keep it simple. For a few reasons:
  1. We don't ever want our kids to think that they are entitled to gifts
  2. We want to keep the main thing, the main thing - #JesusistheReasonfortheSeason
  3. Our family spoils our kids too
We keep gifts within our set budget for each child and within these four main categories:
  • Something you WANT
  • Something you NEED
  • Something to WEAR
  • Something to READ
Once you have a good idea of how you want your holidays to FEEL, this becomes MUCH easier to tackle. I'm able to see my kids interests, listen in to things they've mentioned, know what they NEED and I start making LISTS as early as the end of October. That helps keep things on budget because I know what I need and can keep my eyes out for the best deals. Plus it helps family know what they can purchase too.

Holidays can still be EVERYTHING you want them to be without racking up DEBT to make it happen <3

Enjoy your holiday season friends. Don't stress about how you can pay for everything. Make a plan and use it!

Happy Holidays!


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