This month’s topic continues with Budgeting for the Holidays.
There are just three months until the end of the year, people want to know how to save for holiday shopping.
Florence, who asks, “Based on my income, what is the recommended amount to set aside for the holidays? I need to know if I’m overspending.”
You want to start by reviewing your monthly budget and expenses, then come up with a realistic goal of how much you’d like to spend. If you pay yourself first, and put away money for savings and bills, your budget will adjust accordingly. Save 10% of the amount leftover, and put that into a separate account for the holidays.
What a happens if you get an unexpected gift and you would like to return the generosity.
You want to account for this kind of miscellaneous spending, or the cost of food for parties or eating out at a restaurant. Create a list of expenses. List all the people you’d like to buy gifts for, all the parties you plan to attend. Decide how much you want to spend on each person and at each party. Once you know how much you plan to spend, you can start to put aside enough money each week so that you reach your goal.
Kristi asks, “Is it better to save money and buy everything on Black Friday? Or should I always look out for deals during the season and buy as I see?”
If you know what you’re buying for each person, you can look for sales throughout the year. This is actually a good way to save money. You might be able to find a deal during other times of the year, not just before Christmas. It’s also good to check online sites or other retailers for price cuts. If you do plan to shop during Black Friday, you might want to open an account specifically for Holiday Shopping. And remember, start saving early!
If you have a SmartMoney question you’d like answered, you can go to our website to post your budgeting questions. We’ll spend this entire month helping you get answers on how to plan for a memorable and special holiday season.
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