Christmas is December 25th again!
There are 5 months of budgeting before Christmas strikes, so if you haven’t already started your Christmas sinking fund, now is the time!
The thing that gets tricky about budgeting for Christmas is you don’t just need to budget for gifts. This is where we usually get tripped up. We haven’t traveled for Christmas in a few year, and our families are pretty conservative gift givers, so we only build up about $500.00, but then add to it in November and December. Come to think of it, I really should beef that up more throughout the year.
Anyway, here are a few categories you may forget as you begin to think about how to budget for Christmas and how big to build your sinking fund.
- Gifts: Duh. It’s a no-brainer that you have to buy gifts for your family. But, do you do an office gift exchange? Do you have groups of friends that exchange gifts? Do your kids want to buy gifts for their friends? Will a Secret Santa pop up that you might not expect?
- Travel (and everything that comes with it): If you travel for Christmas, that includes a lot of things besides the gas. Make sure to account for:
- Travel supplies (toiletries, games, books, etc)
- Food: I forget this every year! If you have parties to go to where you need to bring a dish, make sure to add money for supplies to cook or bake in addition to regular monthly groceries.
- Clothes: Do you need a nice dress to wear to a party? Do you buy matching pajamas for all the kids? Make sure to take any potential new clothing needs into account.
This is a pretty simple list, but there are definitely things on here that I tend to forget, so hopefully it’s helpful. If you need more information on getting ready for the holiday season, check out The Holiday Factor by Make Real Cents. She goes into a lot more detail than I did!