4 Simple Steps to Maintaining Your Budget Through the Holidays

First thing you have to do is know your budget before you can maintain it.  So get those figures, do your long division and you’ll be set.

What You’d Normally Do:
With the holidays comes a lot of baking.  Most people go in with their list, but just start grabbing supplies and getting a few extra things just in case.  Prices look decent, but you are in a hurry, so just grab and go.
What You Should Do::

  • Use your Coupons – Take your time. Not only are the baking supplies on sale for the holidays, but there are coupons to match and most times you can get things for free or next to nothing.  You can actually save quite a bit here if you slow down.

What You’d Normally Do::
Go to the store and look and look and look and look until you are exhausted, frustrated and tired, at which point you buy Uncle Eddy bath salts from K-mart.  Whoa, he’s going to love that gift.
What You Should Do::

  • Shop with a list – Know what you are getting each person and stick with that.  Don’t go to the mall just to see what he might want.  Instead think it through.  If you are going to spend the money, make it good. Don’t want to keep buying Uncle Eddy gifts?  Then It’s Time For The Talk.

What You’d Normally Do:
Have in your head about how much you have spent and how many items you have purchased.  Buy baking and cooking supplies on demand since there are so many parties and activities.
What you Should Do::

  • Write it Down – Keep track of every.single.dime you spend.  I have started a spending journal and it has helped a lot.  I will probably have Christmas one as well.  Little things add up quickly.  I was surprised myself.

What You’d Normally Do::
Get your kids or nieces and nephews everything you stumble upon, because it is Christmas after all.  How many can admit they buy cheap toys for stocking stuffers?  Seriously they don’t need to have the stocking stuffed to the top with crap, and you all know it’s crap.  It tends to be things you wouldn’t normally buy.
What You Should Do::

  • Have a limit – I have never wanted my kids to think Christmas is a free for all.  I know families that will spend $1,000 per kid.  We have decided you can get one present from each person and we do a “Santa” gift.  So we each get 4 gifts.  It makes you put a lot of thought into those 4 things instead of just grabbing whatever.

What do you do to maintain your budget?  Anyone out there have their shopping done or nearly done?

Linked to Frugal Fridays

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