Halloween is just around the corner and so begins the holiday season. Whatever holidays you choose to celebrate, let us remind you of some of the expenses you should be thinking of over the next few months. We’ve included both home and other holiday expenses as they all add up!
Expense #1: Decorations
We love holiday décor both inside and outside our home. But our budget has different thoughts. If you are in need of some new décor make sure to set aside some money to do so. Decorations aren’t cheap, however; you can find good sales/deals. We recommend doing some pricing research before making a final purchase. Also, if you are filling your home with holiday lights, don’t go super cheap on those-you want something that’s going to be safe!
Expense #2: Gifts
There are a lot of factors that go into this expense. Your family size, traditions, budget, etc. Plan ahead, write out a list of all those you will be buying for and set a price for each person. This gives you a good idea of how much you’ll be spending in the end. Check your closets, do you have anything you purchased ahead and forgot about? Have anything you could re-gift? Just make sure you don’t re-gift to the person who gave it to you!
Expense #3: Food
How many different parties, celebrations, etc. will you be involved in? Will you be providing food? Holiday dishes can add up! If possible, again make a list and plan out your dishes and the ingredients involved. Stock up and be prepared! You don’t want to have to run to the grocery store in a snow storm just to find they are out of the ingredients you need!
Expense #4: Energy Usage
Will you be adding some holiday lights to your home? Will you have guests in your home? Or will you be traveling? Typically, people spend more time in their homes during the holidays which leads to more energy usage. If you are traveling, turn your thermostat down a little to help keep your energy costs lower. We recommend upping your energy budget for the next few months. If you over budget, oh well having a little extra cash after the holidays will be a pleasant surprise, right?!
Expense #5: Traveling
Driving, flying, riding a bus or train. If you are traveling, you will inevitably have expenses. Make sure you don’t forget to plan for gas, food, and lodging if need be. And have a plan in case weather causes you to have to stay an extra day or two. Much better to be overprepared than underprepared.
Expense #6: Vacation Time
While thinking about the holidays and your budget, keep in mind whether or not you will be taking extra time off of work. Do you get paid holidays? Do you have paid vacation days you can use? Or will you be taking time off without pay? Sometimes it’s easy to forget that days off for holidays can mean smaller paychecks. Plan accordingly. Map out your budget for the next few months. It takes a lot of stress out of the holidays if we are aware of our budget and how much money we can allocate to all things involved. And don’t forget the usual monthly items like rent/mortgage, car payments, etc!
May this list be a good reminder of the upcoming expenses we will likely be facing. As the holiday season quickly approaches, we hope your homes are filled with holiday cheer.