Well. With Christmas time just coming around the corner looking at credit card statements always hurts just a little bit. The issue I have with this is that it’s not like Christmas is an unsuspected event. We very well know that Christmas comes on the same day everyyear but for some reason it seems like I forget to budget for it every time. I think there was only one year where I never really had this issue.
Well. I’m attempting to create a messagge to myself to remember to budget for it again. I guess the only other thing left to remember is to remember to follow it. lol.
I guess I’ve always really liked giving gifts so for me I’ve always find it perfectyl okay to spend extra on gifts. But this year being that I’ve kind of don’t really have a steady stream of income it hurts a little more. And now I have the gift of unforgiving credit debt. But never mind that let’s go to my attempt of a guide on figuring out how to budget.
I think this a pretty common concept that most financial advisors follow is something called the “Zero-Based Budget” basically making sure that your income minus expenses for a month is no less than zero.
The basis of this concept is to make sure that you know exactly where each one of your dollar goes.
Once you get into this habit it become easier to understand where you spend most of your money and will help you learn how to allocate your income to where you want it to go. Like…
Your Christmas Budget
Your Track Record
Think about the money that you spent last couple years on Christmas. I know if you’re not keeping a budget its hard to keep track of how much everything costed but if you can find the credit card transaction histories or pictures of what you purchased you can sort of start piecing a picture together and thats pretty much all you need.
With this image in your head it becomes easier to start asking yourself if you felt like you spent too little or too much.
And once you know that then you can learn where you need to adjust. I personally use Mint to track my persoanl expenses and it helps me learn my patterns like I spend way too much money at coffee shops. I also buy alot of food. And Amazon Prime is like my wallets weakness. But what I should be doing is essentialy treating my Christmas Budget like a savings account that I can fill up every year.
So that’s the plan to figure out how to fund what I want to buy as presents. But after writing that sentence I’ve come to realize.
Figure out Your Spending Categories
Christams really has become a consumer based holiday because I just realized that I spend my money on so much more ridiulous stuff! Like: decorations, travel, meals and I’ve also really been wanting to start donating. All of these which are usually out of my regular budget. Which I’m assuming is why Christmas has still knocked me towards my feet every year.
So by determining all the categories of spending that I would expect during the Christmas holidays. I think I’ll be able to determine a better ball park figure.