Being Self-Employed in the holidays can be very hard if you don’t have a plan. This time of year sales aren’t doing as well or there stagnant and you just aren’t prepared for the additional cost. Disappointing your family again with a cheap Christmas can make you feel like a failure in your business.
Don’t let Christmas be an expense you didn’t prepare for. Create a budget that includes the holidays as a line item. A lot of times we have a budget in are head that has to do with Monthly expenses and when an unforeseen cost comes we are not prepared and it can become devastating. Here some tips to help you prepare:
Take a look at what you spent on Christmas last year.
Start by plugging in your normal monthly expenses like gas, utilities, insurance and groceries. Then, enter your more flexible spending budget groups, like dining out and fun money. What’s left? Will that be enough for Christmas? If not, you may have to adjust some of that flexible spending to make it work.
If you typically spend $300 on restaurants in a month, why not cook a few extra meals at home and stash an extra $200 toward Christmas savings? Or if your fun money is sitting pretty at $150 a month, why not hold off (temporarily) and put an extra $100 into your Christmas fund? Smart budgeting now can free up more money for what you want later—like Christmas presents!
Separate your Christmas budget into categories
Gifts are usually the largest Christmas budget expense, just remember you need to budget for all things Christmas—including decorations, wrapping paper, travel, festive meals, charitable donations, and anything else you’re planning to do over the holidays.
Once you’ve figured out how much you can spend on Christmas, do some simple math. Take your number—let’s say $500—and think over your seasonal expenses. You’ll need money for travel ($50), a tree and trimmings ($70), a few potluck parties ($30), and some extra giving ($50). Then there’s the big one: Christmas gifts ($300). Make a goal amount and stick to it! You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can pile up a stash of cash when you just make a point to save.
Now that you have your Christmas budget all set, you know how much you’ll need to add to your Christmas fund. As long as you plan where your money will go before you spend it, there’s no right or wrong way to split up your Christmas budget.
Next Year Plan ahead with a Christmas fund.
You know Christmas is in December every year, so there’s no reason to act like it suddenly snuck up on you. Start putting away money for Christmas now!
Once you’ve determined the total you want to spend on Christmas, determine when you want to start saving and divide it by the number of weeks left until Christmas.