Drawing up your holiday budget is an essential part of preparing for the holiday season. However, it’s easy to overlook certain items and before you know it your budget is through the roof thanks to those pesky hidden costs! So I’ve put together a handy checklist to help you account for all those extra expenses. If you didn’t create a budget this year- keep track of what you are spending to help you create one next year.
1) Utilities: The extra use of electricity and water due to Christmas lights and extra usage when guests are staying is something to take into consideration.
2) Transportation: Don’t forget you’ve got to get to wherever you’re spending Christmas and sadly we don’t all have reindeer and a sleigh to get us there! It’s important to make sure you’re budgeting for the additional gas you use at this time of year.
3) Gift-wrap: Of course we budget for gifts but it’s easy to forget to add in the price of gift-wrap when we’re putting together our list of expenses! Here’s a tip – wrap gifts for kids in cheaper paper, they won’t notice its quality when they’re ripping it off in haste!
4) Childcare/babysitting: Nights out with friends is always going to be something to budget for over the holiday season but are you remembering to add the cost of a babysitter on to that budget?
5) Wine: Taking a bottle of wine every time you visit guests soon adds up so be sure to add it to your list. Buying a crate is a great way to cut costs if you know you’re going to need a lot of bottles…let’s be honest who isn’t?!
6) Party Outfits: Most likely you’ve remembered to budget for that fab new party dress but don’t forget about the extras. Accessories, stockings, support garments etc. These items don’t come cheap and need to be accounted for!
7) Stamps and Cards: Sending holiday cards to friends and family is an important tradition but sadly not a cheap one! So make sure you add the expense of cards and stamps to your budget to avoid nasty surprises later on. Why not hand deliver where possible and save big on stamp costs!
8) Mailing Heavy Gifts: Another occasion where we sure envy Santa…where’s Rudolph when you need him to deliver gifts free of charge and on time! Don’t forget to factor in the price of mailing presents, as unfortunately it can be a high one!
9) Baking Ingredients: Homemade treats are a must for many during the holiday season so make sure you remember to consider the price of the ingredients when constructing your grocery budget!
10) Tips Galore: The holidays is a time to show your generosity so make sure you’re still able to tip all those deserving folk by planning for the added expense when budgeting!