This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust. All opinions are my own.
I’ve partnered with SunTrust to share my holiday planning and budgeting tips and how the SunTrust budget worksheet on onUp.com is helping me stay on track.
Are you thinking about the holidays yet? I know it’s August, but if you want to get ahead of the rush and avoid a little stress this holiday season, now is a good time to start your holiday planning and budgeting.
If you think about it, the start of the holiday season is only about three months away. Those few months are going to fly by, especially with the busy back-to-school season upon us. I just spent what feels like a small fortune buying school school supplies and uniforms, and there isn’t a lot of time to recover before the holidays. It could be quite daunting, but I started my holiday shopping early in the year which is always a big help. I’m also getting a head start with a good holiday spending plan. I’ve partnered with SunTrust to share my holiday planning and budgeting tips and how the SunTrust budget worksheet on onUp.com is helping me stay on track.
Holiday Planning and Budgeting Tips
Set a spending limit and stick to it. One of the best things you can do to help make the holidays a lot less stressful is to create and stick to a holiday budget. It’s important to set a spending limit first, based off what you can truly afford. When considering this amount, try to only use money you have set aside for the holidays or extra money you have in your budget. Once you’ve established how much you can afford to spend, then work on how to best allocate those funds.
Plan your spending. I like to start off by making a list of all my holiday expenses which includes gifts I need to buy, decorations, gift wrapping, holiday meals, entertaining and travel. Once you have a list of holiday expenses, you can determine how much of your holiday budget to spend on each category. For gift giving, I break it down even further with a per-person spending cap. The SunTrust budget worksheet on onUp.com is a great tool for planning a holiday budget. This budgeting tool includes everything from gas for travel, holiday décor, and charitable donations – all on an easy-to-use spreadsheet. The Gift Guide tab helps you set spending for each person on your list.
Spread your spending throughout the year. In years past, I’ve begun my holiday shopping as early as the day after Christmas, but if you don’t want to start quite that soon now is a great time. Starting your holiday shopping early allows you to take advantage of various sales throughout the year, and it gives you time to adjust your holiday spending budget if necessary. I love buying new holiday decorations for 75% off, at the end of the season.
Track expenses. Tracking your spending is the key to sticking to a budget. I find that the trickiest part of holiday planning and budgeting is staying on track, and that’s where the SunTrust budget worksheet is especially helpful. You can log your expenses as you go and easily keep an eye on how much of your budget you’ve spent. Breaking it down even further, the Gift Guide tab lets you log of what you’ve spent for each person, as you go.
It’s so easy to get swept up in the generosity of the holiday season, and overspend. This year, I’m determined to not let that happen. Have you set your budget for the holidays yet? Don’t let stress get in the way by planning! Check out the the SunTrust budget worksheet on onUp.com. I think it’s a fantastic budgeting tool that can make a big difference in reducing stress, and help you move toward financial confidence.
I’m looking forward to spending a stress free holiday season with the people I love. How about you?