Stick to your Holiday Budget this season.

Though there are only a few days left until Christmas, The Lawhead Team would like to share some helpful tips to sticking to your holiday budget during the Christmas Season.

This time of year is by far one of the most expensive and stressful seasons. Between shopping for gifts, traveling to see relatives and buying everything you need to host a meal, it’s easy to let your shopping list run wild. But rather than panicking, set a realistic holiday budget now, so you know exactly how much you have to spend.

Once you have a ballpark figure to work with, allocate where you want your money to go. Instead of coming up with a list of people to buy for, come up with a budget on how much you can afford.  And don’t forget to add in the extras such as postage for Christmas cards, holiday party favors, travel costs and more.

Now that you’ve created a realistic holiday budget, it’s time to start shopping. And the best way to have a stress free holiday is pre-plan your purchases. Start by creating an all-inclusive shopping list, from gifts, to decorations to food ahead of time.

If you plan your purchases in advance, you’ll be less likely to overspend and become stressed. You’ll be giving yourself and your schedule, plenty of time to handle any last minute gifts or problems that come up.

Make a list of all the people you want to buy for. Go through that list and decide how much you can spend on each person. If you don’t have enough money to cover your holiday budget, go through the list again and cut out names or amounts.  If you have a big family, have one person buy for another, avoiding having to buy for everyone in your family.

If you can, pay cash for your gifts. Set a limit of how much you’ll spend, take out the money from your bank and when the money is gone, don’t buy anymore presents. If you have to use your credit card, think of it as a short term loan.  Ideally, you’ll want to pay off everything immediately.  Make sure you always use the card that offers the lowest interest rate.  Track your credit card spending during the holidays just as you would if you were writing a check. Last thing you want to do is get your credit card bill in January and keel over from seeing the amount owed!

holiday budgetWithout a doubt, one of the best ways to stay in your holiday budget during the season is to remember what the season is really about. Most of us stress ourselves (and our wallets) to the breaking point during this time of year. But there are ways to have a memorable holiday and make your Christmas special without getting caught up in the consumerism trap of overspending.

Being together with family, decorating your home, giving each other presents and cooking good food, is what the holiday should be about. The secret to giving your family a memorable Christmas is not more money, it’s just more of you.