3 Steps to Avoid a Post-Christmas Financial Hangover

In the classic Christmas movie Christmas with the Kranks, Luther Krank did everything he could to skip Christmas. To his dismay, his plans fall through and, along with his wife, he’s left scrambling at the last possible moment for gifts, decorations, food and party must-haves in order to pull together a Christmas miracle. As comical and light-hearted as the film is, you definitely don’t want that to happen to you. That’s why it’s important to make sure you have the holidays planned and budgeted out so that you can enjoy time with your friends and family in peace.

Here are a few easy steps you can take for planning out your holiday season:

  • Who, What, Where and When – It’s important to decide who you need to buy presents for right away so that you can plan your budget accordingly. In my family, we have decided to forego gifts for the adults and only buy for the kids. If things are tight or if you’re just looking to spend less this holiday season, talk with your relatives about ways to avoid buying gifts for everyone in the family. Instead of buying a gift for every adult in your family, one fun approach is to do a gift exchange with a set spending limit. This way, everyone can get a little something that doesn’t break the bank! It’s also crucial to know which holiday parties you will be attending and when. Do you need to bring a dish to pass? Christmas cookies? A gift for the host and hostess? Make sure you know all the details so that you can plan and budget appropriately.
  • Draw up a budget – If you can’t start saving for Christmas earlier in the year, it’s extremely vital to put together a budget of how much you can spend each week up until Christmas while still paying your bills. But don’t forget that you don’t just need a budget for gift-giving, you also need to budget for decorations, wrapping supplies, festive meals, travel and charitable donations.
    • Did you know that Educators has a Christmas Savings share available to our members? With our savings shares, it’s so simple to put away for the holidays. You can set up an automatic transfer in online banking so that every time you get paid, money will be transferred and set aside for future holiday spending!
  • Start early – The earlier you begin to plan Christmas gifts for your friends and family, the easier it is to find sales and promotions. Personally, I start my Christmas planning in the beginning of November so that by the time Black Friday and Cyber Monday come around, I know exactly what items I need and I can get them during amazing sales.

Do you have any special tips and tricks to help you plan for the holiday season? Leave a comment and let us know below!