Can you believe it’s already December?! How is 2016 already almost over?? It truly is the most wonderful time of the year! But it can also be one of the most expensive times of the year! Make sure you’ve budgeted for these items in your December budget!
1. Christmas Gifts
Probably the most obvious… If you checked out my post Christmas in July?, you read about starting your Christmas fund early! It’s best to save a little bit each month to add up and have fully completed by December. But if you didn’t save in the earlier months for Christmas, set that aside now! Don’t go overboard, but write down how much you plan to spend total on gifts and then break it down by person. Don’t forget parents, siblings, kids, aunts, uncles… Whoever you think would be appropriate to give to! If you’re doing this last minute, you may have to take some money from other budgeted categories such as your monthly fun money, entertainment, or eating out budget. Remember, you don’t need to overspend on gifts to show others that you love them!
2. Christmas Decorations
If this is your first Christmas, you’re going to be getting some first time decorations! Also, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a strand of Christmas lights going out each year. Be sure to have some money set aside for some cute decorations! If you don’t have the funds set aside, you’ll have to limit the decorations this year. After Christmas, go shopping for decor at much cheaper prices!
3. Heating Bill
It’s December. It’s cold. Your heating bill will go up. Enough said.
4. Food Costs
From additional baking this season, to a large Christmas dinner, your grocery shopping might be a little more this month!
5. Travel Costs
If you’re driving to grandma’s house for the holidays, or flying to the other end of the U.S. for family vacation, be sure to include this in your budget!
6. Charitable Donations
Whether you are tithing to your church or giving to some other organization, December 31st is the last day for you to contribute a gift to a charitable organization to go to a tax deduction for 2016. If you have more questions on how much you should contribute for the sake of taxes, contact your tax professional. But otherwise, give lots. In addition to regular tithing to your church, I will encourage you to reach out to a family in need and ask how you can bless them this season.
With that being said, have a wonderful Christmas holiday! Budget well, have fun, and be generous in the most wonderful time of the year!
P.S. I hope you all enjoyed the picture of our cute cat, Bella. She’s ready for Christmas!