Tag Archive for seasonal budgeting

5 Rules for Shopping for the Holidays on a Budget

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With holidays around the corner, our budgets threaten to tip toward the lower side on the scale. If we aren?t vigilant with saving and budgeting, we might very well be playing with negative here. Spreading cheer during the holidays doesn?t mean depriving yourself of everything in the coming months.

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Instead of stressing and worrying and then rushing off for last-minute shopping, try planning in advance. Planning in advance can help you save quite a lot, make smart decisions, and also make the shopping experience more pleasant. There are also sites like 24Cash that provide you external help to deal with the holidays better.

Here are Five Rules You Should Remember While Shopping on a Budget:

1. Expectations and Limits

You might want to gift everyone the greatest gift they can ever receive, you might not want to think about money and budget when buying gifts for your loved ones, but reality doesn?t always give you that privilege.

This is one of the reasons that can bring you stress, but you do not always have to buy expensive gifts to show someone how much you care. Understand your budget and set expectations for the type of gifts you can buy and for what price point. Set limit for your holiday shopping budget; either as a whole or per person.

2. Start Early

Most of the budgeting issues arise when you don?t plan in advance. The prices are usually jacked up at the last moment because they know you have no other option but to buy the overpriced product.

You need to start making a list of all the people you need to buy gifts for and what gifts you would like to buy for them. Then see if the gifts fit in your budget if it doesn?t then keep it on standby. One of the perks of starting early is that you can look for things during different sales. Sometimes you can buy something for a fraction of the original price, which is why you can keep expensive options on standby.

3. Consider Every Expense

When making a budget for the holidays, make sure to tally in every expense not just the gifts. If you are going to be traveling on the holiday, then you might have to cut back the budget for the gifts. If you are going to be paying for someone?s trip, say your family?s, then you can get a small ?something,? if you don?t want to go with ?nothing.??

It makes no sense to spend on a trip as well as an expensive gift and tip the budget for everything else, does it now?

4. Do It Yourself – DIY Your Way Through It

Something you made by investing your time and effort will always top something you bought. It shows a person that you care enough to spend time and work hard to get them something they love. When you make things yourself, you can easily customize it for the person you are gifting it to. Budget wise it can be cheap and love wise it can be expensive.

5. Plan Secret Santa

If you are really tight on budget, then Secret Santa is your best bet. It is fun and carries a sense of mystery and excitement. You don?t have to buy gifts for everyone, so you won?t be stretching your budget. Even with one gift, there is usually a predetermined limit on how much you can spend, so no one is going to be upset that you didn?t get something more extravagant.

Final Thoughts

Holidays are about being happy and enjoying time with family, gift-giving should be a way of showing someone you love and giving them something that need and that they will enjoy. Just keep those things in mind, then you will understand that you don?t have to break your bank to make the people you love happy.

4 Reasons Why Seasonal Budgeting May Work for You

4 Reasons Why Seasonal Budgeting May Work for You

4 Reasons Why Seasonal Budgeting May Work for YouWhen you think about crafting a budget for your household, you probably think first about doing so on a monthly basis. That makes a lot of sense, of course. After all, most of your bills come in on a monthly schedule, so it makes sense to track your spending using this unit of time.

However, there are some drawbacks to monthly budgeting. If you allow yourself to spend the same amount of money each month, you won?t be accounting for the fact that your spending may vary from season to season.

As the year goes by, there may be changing demands on your money, which could make it hard to hit your budget targets.

Before you nail down your budget for the coming year, it would be wise to at least consider planning on a seasonal basis. If one or more of the four points below applies to you, seasonal budgeting might be the right way to go.

You Have Kids

With kids ? especially school age kids ? seasonal budgeting is a smart choice.

During the summer months, you are almost certainly going to spend more, as you will be active with the kids. Whether it is taking a family vacation, going to local attractions, or just eating out a little more often, the summer can be expensive.

While it is important to continue to monitor your spending in the summer, you should allow yourself a little bit of leeway in order to have a great time with your children. Tweak your budget by allowing for more spending in the summer months as compared to the winter so you can more accurately match your lifestyle.

Your Utilities Fluctuate

Those who live in a particularly cold climate will be familiar with the rising utility costs that come along with running a furnace for several months at a time. On the other side of the coin, those who live in a hot area know that the summer can be tough with regard to heating bills since the air conditioner will be working hard.

If you have utilities which vary greatly between the summer and winter months, take that fact into account while building your budget.

You Work Seasonally

Some jobs demand far more out of their workers in one season as compared to the rest.

A great example of this is a tax accountant. While this is a year-round job, most tax accountants work extremely hard in the weeks and leading up to the tax filing deadline in April.

Someone in that position probably doesn?t spend much money during February and March, for instance, because they are always at work. The budget could be reduced in those months, while being expanded slightly during months where the office isn?t so busy and there is more time to do other things.

You Have One Specific Hobby

If you are someone who is passionate about one specific hobby, and that hobby only takes place during a certain part of the year, you will want to consider that hobby in your budgeting.

One example that perfectly highlights this concept is skiing. As a skier, you are going to take part in your hobby during the winter months, of course. That might mean taking a bit of time away from work, and it will mean spending money on things like lift tickets, equipment, and more.

Build these activities into your budget and plan on cutting back when skiing is out of season.

 

Have you ever tried seasonal budgeting? Did it work for you?

 

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