6 Things to Do Now to Get Your Budget Ready for the Holidays

6 Things to Do Now to Get Your Budget Ready for the Holidays

When it comes to holiday spending, it’s better to be proactive instead of reactive! What I mean is, the earlier you can start planning, saving and preparing for the holidays, the better. We still have a good 3 months before Christmas, and that’s plenty of time to get your budget ready for the holidays.

I want the holidays to be a fun time, not a stressful, anxiety-inducing time. The best way to make it fun and stress-free is to start planning. I’m sharing 6 things to do now to get your budget ready for the holidays.

The earlier you start putting a game plan in place for your holiday spending, the better off you’ll be when the holiday time comes…and trust me, it’s coming!

How to Get Your Budget Ready for the Holidays

#1 Sign up for the free Frugal Fall Savings Challenge!

I used to struggle with preparing for holiday shopping, so to help myself and others, I started the Frugal Fall Savings Challenge years ago!

It’s an 8-week savings challenge that can help you save an extra $500—just in time for Black Friday. This challenge started off by helping me and a few women, and has grown into a challenge that thousands of people participate in!

The amount we’ve saved collectively over the years will blow your mind! This challenge is designed to help you get your budget ready for the holidays by making sure you have something saved to spend on your holiday shopping. We start this year’s challenge later this month, so sign up now!

#2 Start thinking about your holiday spending limits

It’s always good to go into the holiday season with an idea of how much you want to spend. Don’t just limit your spending limits to gifts, either. Think about any holiday parties, charities or events that will require extra money from you.

Setting spending limits helps you avoid overspending.

Imagine going into the holiday season with no direction on how much you want to spend! That is a recipe for overspending disaster. Start thinking about the financial limits you have with your holiday spending and then start saving to make sure you can meet those limits comfortably.

Everyone’s situation is different, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all limit amount. Try thinking about everyone you need to buy gifts for and come up with individual limits. Then, think about events or giving. Add up the total to get your overall holiday spending limit.

#3 Repurpose your savings to holiday expenses

If you already have automatic savings transfers set up (and I’m sure you do), consider repurposing those transfers to holiday spending. You can take the money out of your savings account and use for holiday shopping, or you can have the transfers allocated to a new savings just for holiday spending.

The point is to not stretch yourself thin for the holidays. It’s great to keep up your saving efforts, but not with the risk of using credit cards because you don’t have enough for holiday shopping.

Understand that this repurposing is temporary and will switch back to normal after the holidays. Make a plan to save earlier for the holidays next year.

#4 Tighten up your discretionary categories
There’s no doubt about it: the holiday season is the costliest time of year for all of us! That means we need to be wise with our non-necessary spending.

As the holidays approach, start tightening up your discretionary categories. If you have $250/month allocated for fun spending in your budget, try cutting it back to $150.

This gives you some wiggle room with your spending for the holidays and helps to make sure you don’t go overboard. This is another strategy where you remind yourself it’s only temporary.

Imagine getting through the holidays with no debt and money in your account! That makes tightening up the fun spending truly worth it.

#5 Build up cash reserves in your account(s)

I don’t know about you, but nine times out of ten, I overspend during the holidays. I set limits, I save money, and I still overspend. The magic of the season can cause some of us (myself included) to go overboard.

So, to get your budget ready for the holidays, start building up extra cash in your accounts.

You can do this by cutting back on bills, expenses, and spending. Reducing wherever you can will keep more money in your account.

You can also build up cash reserves by bringing in more money. Can you work overtime? Can you do some Uber and Lyft rides? The more you can bring in, the more you’ll have to dedicate to holiday spending.

#6 Hide your credit cards

If you take anything away from this article, I want it to be this: DO NOT GO INTO DEBT FOR THE HOLIDAYS. The holidays come every single year, so it’s not wise or worth it to go into debt because of holiday spending.

Your loved ones wouldn’t want that for you, and those you’re buying gifts for will be happy with anything.

I know it’s easier said than done – I’ve gone into debt for the holidays in the past, so I’m speaking from experience. It’s just not worth it.

Hide your credit cards as we get closer to the winter months. You don’t need them and should only be spending what’s been saved or what’s in your accounts.

Related: 5 Reasons Not to Go into Debt During the Holidays

While you may never feel 100% financially prepared for the holidays, the hacks listed above can help you take control of your budget before the spending chaos begins. Even if you only do a handful of items on the list, you can see the impacts based on your stress levels and account balances!

Stay ahead, so you don’t have to get ahead!

Do you have any pre-holiday planning tips for your budget? Post a comment below to share some things that help you prepare your budget for the holiday season!

-Raya
The CGS Team

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