Yes, we just got done with the holiday season but it is a great time to start planning for next year. First, if you have credit card debt from the holidays, sit down and make a plan to pay it off. If you look at the balancee you owe and determine how much you can apply from your monthly budget. Are there any areas that you can cut back on to apply those amounts to your debt?
Once you get your debt paid off or if you do not have any current debt start planning for next year. This is a great time for planning since you have an idea of how much you spent on gifts and other holiday expenses. Take the amount you spent and determine if you think it will be similar next year. Once you have an idea of what the holiday season will cost you, divide that amount by the number of months until December. When you have a monthly amount, look at your monthly budget and see how this amount fits into it. If you do not have room in your budget, look for ways to cut other expenses or ways to bring in more income.
One way to plan for the holidays is make a list of every one you are planning on purchasing a gift for and a budgeted amount for each. Also, make a list of extra holiday expenses such as extra dining out, parties, and other supplies and total that list. When you add the total of both of those lists you will have an idea of how much to save for holiday expenses.
By taking steps now to save for holiday expenses it may save some of the stress and worry at the end of the year and beginning of next year.
As Dave Ramsey states in one of his books "Christmas is not an emergency, it always comes on December 25."