All sorts of stressors arise during the holiday season. That doesn’t have to include your finances! Putting a spending plan in place with our Budget Collection in your monthly planner is a great way to set goals when it comes to gifting and prioritizing any run-of-the-mill or emergency expenses.
Our line of cost tracking tools for your journal planner allow you to pick a starting point and move forward in the direction of your choosing! Whether you want to start slow by simply tracking expenses, or dive into the deep-end with an entire master money plan, we have what you’ll need to get fiscally fit during this busy time! So grab your 2022 planner, and let’s get started!
HOW TO: STRATEGIZE YOUR HOLIDAY SPENDING
We know deciding where to start can be a challenge. So, we’ve compiled a list of 10 helpful tips that will work well with any of the tools in our budgeting collection.
1. START STRATEGIZING EARLY
It’s never too early to look ahead. And if you’re a Happy Planner then it's a whole mood. Even if you haven’t been able to start as early as you’d like, now is the perfect time. We have planners specifically designed to help you budget, or if you already have your fave Happy Planner standing by, a simple way to begin might be an accessory book. Use the stickers and weekly spending sticky notes in any pre-existing planner or notebook!
2. REVIEW LAST YEAR’S SPENDING
Start fresh by looking back and seeing where you were this time last year, and plan accordingly. Decide if you’re able to spend more, hoping to spend less or break even. Did you make any notes in last year’s Happy Planner? If not, there’s nothing wrong with grabbing some expense tracking filler paper and reviewing your online accounts to get a good idea of what your holiday costs looked like the year prior!
3. MAKE A LIST (CHECK IT TWICE)
Making a holiday shopping list (not just for gifts) will help you see the bigger picture and decide where your hard-earned cash should go. Making separate gift, occasion, and meal lists might help to compartmentalize and strategize. You can also use these lists to track your purchases later on!
4. DETERMINE YOUR PRIORITIES
You have your list and maybe it’s seeming like a bit much. Don’t worry! This is why it’s important to set aside time to ask yourself: “What are the most important parts?” Cut-out or shift anything that isn’t a “must” from your list. Use our budget specific stickers to categorize or call attention to certain items!
5. PLAN FOR OTHER EXPENSES
Give yourself some wiggle room. Don’t forget the everyday or the extra costs that might arise during the holiday season. Remind yourself to factor in travel, those pesky replacement bulbs, cards, gift wrapping supplies, etc. Keeping a stash of extra cash in some snap-in envelopes might be a great solution!
6. PRICE CHECK
You're on the move and making your way down your carefully curated list(s). Taking the additional time for price comparisons will make a world of difference. You can easily make notes next to any item with our fill in budget stickers. Keep your pricing all in one place!
7. TRACK YOUR SPENDING
You’ve made your price comparisons, now you’re pulling the plug and making purchases! Stay in sync with the goals you’ve set for yourself with a set of our budget specific filler paper. Keep those general expenses on your mind while you tally your buys week to week.
8. CUT BACK ON IMPULSE SHOPPING & SPENDING
Maybe there’s always a little voice in the back of your head saying, “Why not?” Normally, we’re all about a little splurging here and there -- but if you’re trying to manage that budget, now might not be the best time. Keep your eye on the prize and stay focused. If you need assistance why not revisit last year’s blog about setting goals for the new year?
9. CONSIDER CRAFTING PRESENTS
If you’re a Happy Planner, then chances are you’ve got some craftiness in you. So, why not put your skills to use and save with homemade gifts? You can even use your gift list to note the types of presents you’re planning for each recipient. For inspiration, stop by and see the wide variety of Happy Crafts we offer. It helps to have a starting point!
10. SAVE YOUR RECEIPTS
Give yourself a head start on next year, track your spending as you go, and save your receipts! Even if you fall behind with all the buzz of the holidays, stashing your receipts somewhere safe will help when you find the time to return and update your checkbook. A planner companion could be a great personal assistant for the busy budgeter. Folders, snap-in envelopes, and a handy pouch are all included. All perfect storage solutions for loose paperwork.
Are you ready? Get set, budget! We hope this brief tutorial gave you some great ideas for tracking your costs and keeping those expenses in check during the holidays. If you end up putting any of the above into practice, please share it with us on social @the_happy_planner!