Holiday Costs That Bite

Sure you’ve got an idea of what you’re gonna spend on Holiday gifts but what about all the costs that sneak up on you?

Have you ever found yourself saying, “I only spent x amount of dollars on gifts; where did all of my money go?” If so, there lots of places throughout the Holidays you get “twenty-dollared to death.” Here’s a look at some of the most common leaks in your Holiday budget.

1. Shipping
Sometimes you can’t avoid this so start and ship early so you only have to pay for standard shipping. Planning for gifts you know that will need to be shipped is the most solid way to prepare. Think about what you’re sending and to where then calculate the costs when budgeting for the Holiday season.

2. Food
Think about how much extra food you buy throughout the Holidays. You usually buy more food and more treats and go to more parties and socials than normal. If you’re budgeting $800 a month for food, it’s safe to say that bumping that up to $1100 or $1200 or so for Thanksgiving through the New Year would not hurt.

3. Stockings
Stockings are the leading culprit of twenty-dollaring your Holiday budget to death. It always takes more than you think to fill those huge “socks” that are about 10 times larger than what anyone would ever wear. Candy, trinkets and toys add up to a lot. That should all be planned out in your Holiday budget.

The better you budget and plan for the Holidays, the more you can do for others and give the type of Holiday to your loved ones that you’d love to give. You should be planning and budgeting for gift-giving and Holiday expenses all year so you don’t have to go into debt and spend the first 3 months of the new year with things being “tight“.

Image courtesy of ChrissyMorin on flickr; reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0