When it comes to the holiday season, it is never too early to start planning, saving, and shopping. We all want to make sure we get the perfect gift for everyone on our lists, but that can be pretty tough on the bank account. That’s why it is critical to create a holiday budget that keeps in mind your income, monthly bills, and holiday expenses.
At White River Credit Union, we understand how important the holidays are but also how stressful they can be when it comes to financial planning. Our experienced team members are here to help guide you through the process of figuring out your budget and ways to stick to it throughout the holiday season.
Develop Your Holiday Spending Plan
At its core, a budget should be a simple equation: income minus expenses equals zero. However, an actual budget is rarely that simple. To keep you holiday season merry and bright, it is important to build a holiday spending budget that you can easily stick to. You can follow these steps to keep your finances on track throughout the whole season:
- Make a list of all holiday expenses: This is not just gifts. Your list should include everything you will need to buy this holiday season such as cards, wrapping paper, holiday food, travel expenses, and charitable donations.
- Set a spending limit: You should have already calculated your income, so you should be able to decide how much you can spend in total for everything this season without breaking the bank. Don’t forget! You still have bills to pay!
- Set up categories for expenses and allot money to each: Categories and allotments will help you remember how much you can spend on each gift or expense without going overboard.
- Make a shopping list: Have you ever gone to the grocery store without a list of food you need and ended up with half the store in your cart? You want to avoid that while holiday shopping. Have 1-2 ideas per person of gifts that are within your spending limit. And don’t forget to check out sales!
- Track your spending: For each shopping trip or holiday outing, be sure to bring your list and keep track of receipts. Subtract the amounts each day so your budget is always up-to-date and you know how much you have left.
The holiday season is meant to be filled with joy, love, and laughter, but financial issues can and do put a strain on the fun. Following a holiday spending plan can greatly reduce this stress.
Contact White River Credit Union
At White River Credit Union, we care about our members and want to make sure your finances are not stressing you out during the holiday season. We have been voted Enumclaw Courier Herald’s “Best Financial Institution on the Plateau” winner every year since 2012 because of our exceptional member service and support. Contact us today if you need help figuring out your holiday spending plan or would like to learn about our seasonal Frosty Funds and Skip-A-Pay options.