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Done Shopping? Time to Build a Budget for Holiday Fun

By now I hope you’ve had the chance to recuperate from another exciting holiday shopping season. You’ve moved on to bigger and better things, like wrapping presents, cleaning the house, and making plans with family and friends.

Oh wait, you’re not done shopping? Well, you can still read this post – think of it as inspiration to finish up.

The holidays are expensive, but it’s not only the shopping that adds up. Food, drinks, travel – all these things can put a huge dent in our credit card bills before the stroke of midnight on New Years’ Eve.

But it’s important to unwind over the holidays, right? We all want to spend some time in a faux reality absent of our regular responsibilities at home and at work. We’ve earned it!

The problem is that while you’re wining and dining beneath the twinkling stars of the dark winter’s night, your ability to pay off your spending habits won’t stay on holidays forever.

So how do we mitigate the damage?


Plan Ahead

This one is important for much more than merely our holiday budgets. Christmas parties are a holiday staple, but it’s always a hassle to plan out the details. A couple lengthy cab rides add up, particularly if you’ve got not only your Christmas party, but that of your significant other, too. Of course, if the cost is just money and not your life, a cab ride after indulging in a few drinks is obviously a better plan than driving home.

If you can avoid a costly cab ride with public transit or teaming up and carpooling, your credit card bill will thank you for it.


Anyone Have Room For Dessert?

The best part of holiday gatherings is all the yummy treats on display.

Protip: you can fit a lot more cookies in a backpack if you don’t clutter it up with alcohol.

Anyways, desserts aside, buying food during the holidays is one of the biggest blows to your holiday budget.

The answer? Avoid expensive packaged treats from the grocery store and try your hand in the kitchen. An original dessert you bake yourself won’t just save you money, it will endear you to all the guests at the party.

That is provided you bake something that’s consumable by actual people.

Protip #2: Cake is good. Fruit is good. Fruit in cake is very, very bad.


Home for the Holidays

Anyone who’s travelled during the holidays knows that the airport is a busy place. Everyone is trying to get home, wherever that might be. It’s tough to get around the cost of flights, but once you’re on the ground, you can keep your budget in check by adopting this post’s first two points.

Plan your itinerary. Keep the travel costs you can control down with transit and carpooling.

And instead of eating out at restaurants constantly, pick up a few ingredients and keep the family together indoors, where it’s warm, happy, and last but not least, inexpensive.

So, done shopping yet?