Budgeting for the Holidays: Part 2

The holiday season is a busy time for celebrations and giving. It’s easy to lose track of how much you’re spending on everything from travel to winter break activities. Yesterday we shared gift-giving tips for budgeting for the holidays. Today we’re helping keep the rest of your holiday season on budget with even more savvy wallet-friendly advice.

Travel

We all know traveling over the holidays can be extra expensive between airlines jacking up ticket prices and gas hikes as well.

Budgeting for the Holidays: Part 2For air travel, use discount travel websites to find the lowest fares and purchase at non-peak times when you may get the best deals. Traveling with a baby is good for your budget because children under two do not need their own tickets!

When traveling by car, get your car tuned up before the trip to ensure it is as gas efficient as possible. Pack your own food and snacks to avoid unnecessary convenience store expenses. Also, fill up on gas in rural locations where the prices won’t be as high. Use apps to help you find the best gas prices on your route.

When budgeting for the holidays, consider other travel expenses too such as boarding pets, baggage fees, parking and car transportation to your destination.

Holiday Celebrations

If you’re hosting a holiday party or meal this year, plan wisely. Pot luck is a great way to cut down on food costs and take some of the burden of meal prep off of you. As tempting as it may be to use paper and plastic goods for your holiday celebrations, it is more economical to use regular dishes and silverware that you can run through the dishwasher, even if it means you have some mis-matched pieces.

Don’t forget to budget for the little things such as carpet or house cleaning after a big event or activities for kids so they don’t wreak havoc on your house.

If you will be attending several holiday parties this year, pick out one new outfit that will work for all occasions. If you need a variety of outfits, ask to borrow from friends or get something tailored that you haven’t worn for years.

Family Activities

When school is out it’s tempting to enjoy a few indulgent family activities like going to the movies, an ice skating rink or bowling alley. These can be fun but make sure you budget for them and limit them to only a few over the holiday break. It’s also tempting to eat out a lot over the holidays, especially if you’ve slaved away on several big meals lately.

Come up with free activities including parks, game nights and cooking a family meal together. These can be just a fun and easier on your budget.

Budgeting for the holidays takes some prep work but it can help you save big bucks in the long run. We wish you a happy and budget-friendly holiday season!

Sources: Huffington Post, The Today Show and Dave Ramsey