As the temperature starts to fall and sparkling lights begin to illuminate the streets, you know the most magical time of the year has finally arrived. Christmas is meant to be a joyous occasion, but it can also be stressful when it comes to budgeting.
Budgeting for the holidays while you are also preparing to purchase a home can seem like an impossible task, but it can be done if you stay diligent with your financial planning.
Creating a gift list within your budget
Gathering around the Christmas tree on a December morning and watching all of your loved ones open the perfect gift can make the holiday season feel so special. Last year, the average American spent more than $980 on gifts alone for the holiday season.1 Although the cost of some gifts can create a strain on your wallet, this doesn’t mean you can’t get the perfect gift while staying in your budget.
Creating a budget sheet that has the price breakdown of gifts for each person will come in handy for knowing exactly what you can and will be spending. There are two words that will save you from a massive Christmas headache when it comes to gift giving: start early! Paying close attention to weekly sales at your local clothing and retail store could help you save a little extra on gifts. Many stores also offer bonus cash and coupons in the mail or on their website, so paying close attention to these cost-saving options could be beneficial to your budget.
Budgeting for holiday meals
Gathering around the table to share your favorite dishes and talk about cherished memories is one of the best ways to enjoy Christmas Day. But this year, if the Christmas dinner party is at your house and the pressure to make the perfect meal while staying in your budget is getting to you, then keep reading!
Making your Christmas party a potluck styled meal is perfect for serving multiple people on a budget. When you have several mouths to feed, having each member bring their favorite dish is a great way to make sure there’s plenty to eat while still pleasing everybody with a variety of cooking styles.
Shopping for nonperishable items far in advance is also a great way to save money on your Christmas feast. Collecting coupons and taking advantage of your grocery store’s weekly sales on key items will save you more money than shopping for your meal all at once.
Don’t break the bank with holiday décor
Having your home decorated with glistening lights and the warmth of red and green décor creates the perfect mood for this time of year. When visiting most home décor stores the price tag on holiday decorations can be quite intimidating. That’s why we are going to give you plenty of tips and tricks to turn your home into a Christmas wonderland while staying in your budget.
Creating decorations yourself is one of the best ways to bring your family together and give your home an original style. A Christmas tree in your home is the symbol of the holidays. Whether it’s small, large, colorful or plain, adding a tree to your home is a must for festiveness. There are several ways to create a tree on a budget such as using unique materials or purchasing the smallest tree at your local tree dealer and adding family photos.2
Shopping at your local dollar store is another great way to create beautiful holiday décor without breaking the bank. Buying plain stockings and personalizing them with your name, initials or festive symbols is a fantastic way to add personalized, budget-friendly décor to your home. Purchasing solid color throw pillow covers and customizing them to match the holiday theme of your décor can also save on Christmas décor costs.
Thinking about buying a home after the holidays can seem like a financially impossible task. And while the holidays can get expensive, this doesn’t mean that you the idea of having your dream home has to be put be put on hold. The new year is the perfect time to purchase a prefabricated home, so start planning and for your holiday budget today.
1 American Research Group Inc. 2017. “2017 Christmas Gift Spending Plans Close in on $1,000.” Accessed November 1, 2018. http://americanresearchgroup.com/holiday/
2 Liz Marie, “25+ Amazing Chritmas Trees A Tree for Everyones Style,” Liz Marie Blog (blog), December 15, 2014. Accessed November 1, 2018. https://www.lizmarieblog.com/2014/12/25-amazing-christmas-trees-one-everyones-style/