Holiday Expenses You Shouldn’t Forget This Year.
The holiday season will be here before we know it! It seems that at every store I’ve gone to recently I keep seeing little pops and hints of Christmas, and I am SO excited about this. Truly, Christmas is the most magical time of the year! If you haven’t already started putting together your Christmas budget, I highly recommend you begin now. Not sure how to do this or what belongs in a Christmas budget? No worries! That’s why I am here! I’ll tell you exactly what a Christmas budget is and remind you of the most commonly forgotten Christmas budget categories.
What’s a Christmas Budget?
But, first things first, let’s talk about what a Christmas budget actually is!
A Christmas budget is a budget that you make for keeping track of all of your Christmas expenses. It should include any gifts you want to buy for the year, parties you will attend, household decorations you might want to buy, food you will make, etc.
Why Do I Need A Christmas Budget?
We all know that the holidays can get expensive fast! I recommend that everyone make a Christmas budget each year to help prevent them from going into debt and overspending during the holiday season. A Christmas budget gives you the permission to spend in the way that YOU want. So you can buy and enjoy what you need for the holidays, without having to feel guilt or buyers remorse.
When you commit to a budget you will be much more likely to spend the amount that you have already decided you can afford.
Not sure how to budget? That’s ok! Just grab my budgeting cheat sheets below and they will tell you everything you need to know to put together a successful zero based budget!
- Related: How to Make a Zero Based Budget
What Should I Include In My Christmas Budget?
When I first started making a Christmas budget I always seemed to forget a few items. Sure, I remembered the gifts that I needed to buy, but then there always seemed to be random little expenses that kept popping up.
It took me a few years to finally figure out every category I needed in my holiday spending budget. But, not to worry! I’m going to share all of the commonly forgotten Christmas expenses so that you won’t have to wait a few years to figure it out for yourself! You can make a successful Christmas budget today! Yay!
Commonly Forgotten Christmas Budget Categories
Below are the most commonly forgotten Christmas budget categories. Use this as a guide when making your holiday budget, it should help you brainstorm exactly what expenses you will need to plan for this year.
1. Holiday Travel
Do you have plans to travel for the holidays? Maybe you are traveling far across the country, or perhaps you have a short road trip planned to visit family. Either option will require some expenses. Make sure to budget for any traveling you will be doing over the next couple of months. You’ll need to budget money for gas, food, possibly plane tickets, lodging, and any activities or experiences along the way.
2. Christmas Decorations
If you like to decorate your home for the season, don’t forget to budget some money for this expense. This is one of the most commonly forgotten Christmas budget category!
You can find some fairly cheap decorations if you shop the after Christmas clearance sales. I usually buy a few new decorations every year right after the holidays, and then when I pull them out the next December it’s a fun surprise because I forgot I had bought them! It’s like a fun early present!
3. Gifts For Teachers
I love gifting my kids teachers a small gift every Christmas to let them know how much I appreciate their time and love they give my child. The problem though is I would often forget to add this extra expense to my gift budget!
If you want to give a small gift to any teachers or coaches in your life make sure to include it in your budget this year.
4. Christmas Dinner
Do you like to cook a big Christmas dinner each year? You know the one with ham, potatoes, rolls, eggnog, and everything in between???? Make sure to include money in your budget for these pricier foods.
Remember, it’s ok to splurge every now and then….just include it in your budget!
5. Holiday Cards
Sending holiday cards to your friends and family is a long loved Christmas tradition. Don’t forget to budget for sending out cards, you’ll also need stamps and envelopes!
6. Gifts For Co-Workers
We love to give little gifts to my husbands co-workers each year…unfortunately this is one of those expenses I tend to always forget about it. If you want to participate in any gift exchanges at work, don’t be like me and forget to include it in your budget.
7. Christmas Traditions
Remember to budget for any Christmas traditions or activities your family will want to enjoy this year. This might include going ice skating, going to the movies, decorating gingerbread houses, etc.
Keep in mind that Christmas traditions do not have to cost a lot of money! Here are some of our favorite budget friendly Christmas traditions.
8. Gift Wrap
Another commonly forgotten Christmas budget category is gift wrapping supplies. Don’t forget to budget for wrapping paper, bows, tape and anything else you’ll need to wrap gifts. The Dollar Tree is my favorite place to buy gift bags and tissue paper. And I love to stock up on Christmas wrapping paper after Christmas each year.
9. Giving To Others
One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is serve others. It is truly what brings me the most joy and happiness and is the reason for the season. Make sure to budget for any giving that you plan to do this Christmas.
But, also remember that you don’t even need to spend any money to serve others. Here are 101 frugal ways to give to someone else.
10. Christmas Parties
Do you have any holiday parties to attend (or possibly host) this year? Budget for any expenses those parties will cost. They might include gifts for the host, a white elephant gift, decorations, food to share, etc.
11. Holiday Baking
And the last commonly forgotten Christmas budget category is holiday baking. Baking is a fun party of any holiday, but especially during Christmas time! Unfortunately, the price to buy the extra ingredients like chocolate, marshmallow cream, cream cheese, etc. gets expensive fast! Make sure to plan ahead with these added costs and include them in your Christmas budget.
- Related: Christmas Tree Cookie Recipe
A Christmas Budget Brings Contentment
If you don’t normally budget for Christmas expenses I encourage you to begin this year. Start today even! Having a plan in place for how to spend your money during the holiday season will bring you so much peace and contentment and you will be able to enjoy the season so much more!
While you are planning your budget make sure to remember each of these commonly forgotten Christmas budget categories!