What Does a Holiday Budget Include?

Add these to the holiday budgetThe holidays seem to sneak up on us, and then all of a sudden they’re everywhere we look. And they often seem to end up costing more than we thought.

I suspect this is because we often forget to account for all of the little details that might be involved with a holiday. Take Christmas, for example. Depending on how you celebrate, it could involve a variety of purchases. (There’s everything from a gingerbread house kit to travel expenses.)

So what does a holiday budget include?

It could include things like:

  • Decorations (tree, ornaments, wreathes, garlands, poinsettias, replacement lights, place cards, candles, etc)
  • Gifts
  • Packaging those gifts (wrapping paper, bows, name tags, tape, boxes, shipping costs)
  • Greeting cards (postage, cards, photography if you enclose photos or send photo cards)
  • Clothing (dressy clothes to attend holiday parties)
  • Food (if you’re hosting a holiday meal or have special traditions related to meals)
  • Travel expenses (if you’re visiting folks out of town)

Many people only think about gifts when budgeting, but all of the little related things can really add up. So think about how much you WANT to spend in total, and how your desires relate to what you can afford or what you want to do. That’ll help you set a total budget and keep costs under control.