Need help getting started? Get my Budgeting Starter Kit, including the budget categories I personally use for my family.

A simple trick to make a REALISTIC spending plan

copy-of-blog-graphic-reason-for-the-season

Fact: The information you hold in your head isn’t reliable.

When it comes to money we double count, round down and forget to add the tax or shipping. It’s a sub conscious protection mechanism to make us feel better about spending.

That’s why its’ important to know your numbers.

Numbers don’t lie.

So whether you choose to do a detailed holiday spending plan or not (pllllease do though!), you need to look at your PAST spending numbers to know if you are being realistic or not.

If you track your money it’s easy to go into your tracking software and pull up your Christmas category from last year. Done.

But if you aren’t tracking your money yet, here is a quick trick to see how much you spent on Christmas last year:

– Log into your bank account
– Pull up your bank statements from last December
– Pick a “normal” month to compare, like October
– Compare the total expenditures on the two statements and take note of the difference. Pending any other abnormal expenses, the difference is a good indication of how much you spent on the holidays last year

Even an estimate of your total holiday costs from last year will help you…

– Build a realistic plan
– Know how much you need to scale it back

I don’t want you putting Christmas on the credit card this year. And a little planning goes a long way. So know your numbers, build a plan that works for your family and commit to sticking to it this holiday season.