Don't Forget These in Your December Budget
We are about to enter into a crazy-busy month. Between celebrating, shopping and cooking, you’ll have a lot going on in the next few weeks!
But before you go on shopping sprees worthy of Santa and his elves or you whip up a feast fit for a Food Network show, take a moment to create your December budget.
Here are eight common expenses to budget for this month:
1. Christmas. Gifts under the tree, a new set of icicle lights, wrapping paper, a great deal you found on inflatable reindeer for your front yard—these are just a few reasons to put extra money in the budget for Christmas.
2. Cookie baking supplies. From office cookie swaps to baking treats for your neighbor, don’t forget to add Santa’s milk and cookies to the grocery budget!
3. Travel. If you’re heading out of town to see relatives or just going someplace warm (where Jack Frost can’t nip at your nose), remember to budget for gas, plane tickets, hotels, food and entertainment. Oh, and enjoy the getaway!
4. Extra food costs. Whether you’re traveling, hosting Christmas dinner, or bringing an appetizer to a party with friends, chances are you’ll be spending a little more than usual on food this month.
5. Holiday parties. Looking for something festive to wear to your office holiday party? Or want to take some champagne over to a friend’s house on New Year’s Eve? Don’t forget to set aside some cash for a babysitter, too. Budget now and get this party started!
6. Secret Santa exchanges and other last-minute gifts. You made your list and checked it twice . . . and you still forgot a little something for your kids’ teacher (and goodness knows they’ve earned a gift this year). Or maybe you forgot you signed up for your book club’s Secret Santa exchange. Budget a little extra cash for last-minute gifts.
7. Winter activities. With a few extra days off from work this month, you’ll probably look for some festive ways to have fun—like ice skating, sledding, watching a Christmas movie marathon with extra snacks, or hitting the mall to take advantage of all the post-holiday sales. Close out 2017 with a bang!
8. Family traditions. If you’re the Clark Griswold of your neighborhood, be sure to budget for replacement bulbs and a higher electric bill this month. Or maybe every year you head to a tree lot to pick out your very own Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Either way, add it to your December budget and enjoy the priceless memories.