The Cost of the Holiday Season

day 1

The holiday season is a time for family, cheer, and thankfulness. But, for many, this time of year can also bring worry over increased spending. And with good reason, the average consumer plans to spend $1,121 this holiday season.

Don’t let worry take over. Follow along with our Holiday Spending Series as you navigate through the holiday season in an affordable way, no matter your budget.

Take your first steps toward this goal by following these three steps:

  1. Make a list (and check it twice). Keep a list of everything that you plan to purchase for the holiday season to help prevent overspending. Be specific and try to think of all of the categories where you might see increased spending. For example, consider areas such as: travel, food, donations, decorations, and gifts. Finally, don’t forget to account for the extras, like an increased electric bill, shipping, or wrapping supplies.
  2. Create a budget. Once you’ve made a list of where you expect your spending to increase this season, turn it into a holiday budget. You can use HelloWallet’s new Flexible Budgets tool to create your plan. With Flexible Budgets you can create one budget to track all of your holiday spending or multiple budgets, if that works better for you. Here’s one example of how you might use one Flexible Budget to plan your holiday spending:
    • Create a Flexible Budget for “Holiday Spending” that lasts from now until the end of your holiday season on your iPhone or Android application.
    • Enter the amount you plan to spend.
    • Choose to track your spending by category.
    • Add custom categories for each of the items on your holiday spending list (see #1). This might include things like holiday party, holiday gifts, holiday donations, and holiday travel.
    • Set the amount you plan to spend on each category.
    • Select Create Budget and now you’ve got a spending plan for the holiday season! Remember, this is just an example. You can use Flexible Budgets in anyway that works for you to plan your holiday spending, that’s why it’s flexible.
  3. Keep track. Once you’ve created your budget for the holidays, be sure to keep it on hand to stick with it. You can use HelloWallet’s mobile apps for iPhone or Android to keep your budget with you on the go.

Log in to your HelloWallet account to build your holiday spending plan.