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Making Sure your Christmas Budget Covers Everything

Budgeting for Christmas

Usually when we are planning the Christmas budget the main focus is on the gift buying expenses.   What we tend to forget is about all the additional expenses that comes with this festive season.   If you take these into account when planning your budget then you will find that you are able to stick to it much easier and really keep your overall expenses down.

The Christmas decor

It usually begins with the Christmas decorating.   It is really very difficult to refrain buying at least a few new ornaments and a core each year because of all of the wonderful selections that we are faced with as soon as Halloween passes.   There is certainly nothing wrong with buying one or two pieces each year but these should be planned for and budgeted for.   Try to make it a habit to only buy something that is really going to be put to good use, and that you are not just buying it because you have become enthralled with its looks.   At the same time in order to prevent yourself from becoming overburdened with a multitude of decorations only buy if you are going to be replacing something which means getting rid of the original.

It is also a good idea to go through your Christmas decor and see what needs to be discarded and what needs to be replaced before you start out on your shopping ventures.  Try to attack all the segment of the festive season as you would when buying any other type of decor for your home.

Festive entertainment expenses

The next thing that you should also consider with your budget making is the amount that you want to allot for entertainment.  Different people vary when it comes to the amount of entertainment that they do during the festive season.

Some individuals host a great deal of Christmas type parties and family gatherings while others only do a few.   In any event you are going to be spending money and again you need to know just how much you have available so that you don’t end up racking up the credit cards.

You can do this when planning the event to know number of people that are going to attend and the refreshments that you are going to serve.   If money is tight then you can be really innovative with your planning and instead of making it a dinner event perhaps consider making it a brunch or an after dinner get together where you can serve a lighter refreshments.

Quite often one of the biggest expenses around this time of year is that for alcohol.   Again you want to budget for this and keep the cost down, and perhaps instead of serving a variety of different types of alcoholic drinks go with a wine or beer party.

Festive attire

Next on your list is more than likely going to be some new attire to wear to the various festive events that you will be invited to.  Nobody wants to wear the same outfit that they wore the year before, but perhaps just a few changes or alterations can change this outfit and make it look totally new, without having to go out and blow a wad of money on a new attire for the entire family.

Gift buying

Once you have a budgeted in all of these different areas that are part of the festive season you will have a good idea of knowing just how much is left over for the gift giving responsibilities that you have.   Again it is well worth doing some planning before actually going out and doing the shopping. No matter how tight your money is if you take the time to do your research will find that you will be able to purchase some really quality gifts without having to use your charge card.

 

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Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
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