The Christmas Season can put a strain on any well-planned budget. Each year, Marc and I talk through what our 'financial gift budget' will be. We keep track each year, and work hard to make wise choices. What catches me off guard every year is that additional and unexpected expenses that come up. This year, I am going to meet the ones that I remember with a little more preparedness.
Here are ten things to budget for during the Christmas season.
- Gifts (I will write more about gifts later this month.)
- Last minute meals - either take out or purchased pre-made: Budgeting for this might be putting some cash aside for pizza or beginning to make doubles of your meals this month and having a stash of meals that can be pulled out of freezer
- Concerts - even at free concerts there is often a chance to make a donation
- Office, Church, or small group parties
- Postage and stationary - You may not send cards. We haven't for years. But there are still always a couple that I want to drop in the mail.
- Extra gas for extra driving around - to visit folks or for shopping trips
- Donations - either large ones to organizations or just change to have for the Salvation Army Bell Ringers: Imagine having a special change purse ready to donate from when you are out instead of trying to sneak by without making eye-contact.
- Coffee or Chocolate - sometimes we just get tired or need a boost
- Groceries - for the extra yummy's that we make or to take to the food pantry
- Babysitters or house cleaning help: These people are not only supporting you and helping you take care of you, but you are probably helping them with a little bit more for the holiday expenses they are encountering.