Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How To Stay Financially Fit During The Holidays

Hi everyone it’s Financially Fit Phoebe here! With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. I am here give you the tools you need to be financially fit this holiday season, so you can celebrate the holidays with ease!

Allow Time

The holiday season always tends to fly by! Can you believe that there are only 14 more days until Christmas? I can’t! To avoid impulse holiday shopping, make a holiday calendar. This calendar will include what days you will buy gifts for each person, when you will cook & bake holiday treats, and when you want to have your holiday decorations up by. When making your holiday calendar compare it to your paydays and when bills are due.

Decide How Much You Can Spend

The first step to being financially fit during the holiday is creating a budget. The first thing I like to do is come up with a holiday budget (this will include everything). Next I take my holiday budget and divide it into four categories: gifts, food, decorations and other. Here is how you can make sure you follow your budget for each category:

Gifts: First, make a list of all the people you plan to give gifts to. Then, next to each person’s name write the amount of money you will spend on their gift. Lastly add up the numbers next to each person’s name to make sure it does not exceed your allotted gift budget.

Food: Many of us look forward to holiday treats and food; I know I do! To avoid getting a bad taste in your mouths (because you spent too much on holiday foods) I recommend you make a list of all the holiday treats and foods you plan to make. Next to each holiday treat or food write how much it will cost to make. Don’t forget to add ingredients up like sugar and sprinkles! Lastly, add up how much money it will cost to make everything and make sure it fits in your budget.

Decorations: One of the easiest ways to cut back on holiday spending is the decorations. Set up all of your old holiday decorations before you buy any new ones. To save some cash have your kids, nieces and nephews make holiday decorations with you. If after doing all this you feel like your home could use a little more holiday cheer, then go buy a few more decorations- but remember, stick to your budget!

Other: This list is one many people forget about. Under this list should be gas money to go to stores, shipping costs, gift-wrap, and any additional things you will need during the holiday season. They might not seem like they cost a lot, but added all together you’d be surprised!

DIY Gifts

I think the best gifts are handmade. Some DIY gifts that I love are mason jars filled with treats, crayon art, letter art, handmade soaps and upcycled art. If you need some more DIY gift ideas take a look at St. Cloud Federal Credit Union’s “DIY Gifts” Pinterest board. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed with all of your holiday expenses do not hesitate to call St. Cloud Federal Credit Union, we’d be happy to help!



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