How to budget for holiday shopping

It’s really amazing how so many people handle their finances with discipline for most of the year, only to let things completely fall apart when the holidays arrive. Part of the reason is that we spend a lot more time in stores during these months.

During the holidays, shopping becomes almost recreational, where you buy things on sale that you wouldn’t even consider any other time of year. Shopping may start out as buying for others, but the rush of activity may soon turn the focus on yourself if you are not careful.

Spending on yourself isn’t a bad thing, but there is a problem when it comes to buying things you didn’t plan for, whether it be for yourself or for others. Make sure you first find out how much you are able to spend on holiday shopping, then make a list of what you want to buy for yourself and your loved ones. As you buy for someone on your list, subtract that amount from your budget and keep track of every dollar spent.

There is no hard set rule as to what is an appropriate amount to spend during the holidays. When it comes down to it, just make sure you spend what you can afford. After all, a January budget hangover is no way to bring in the new year.

About cozbycpa

Heather L. Cozby is a CPA on the South Shore and Cape Cod. The managing partner of Cozby & Company, LLC, Heather has the resources and experience necessary to provide quality professional services on a timely basis and at a reasonable cost. She specializes in tax planning & preparation; audit, review & compilation services; management advisory services; bookkeeping; and accounting. Her unique niche is in working with homeowners’ associations and condominium trusts, advising with rental real estate, and providing outsourced financial consulting for mid-sized companies. She is more entrepreneurial than most accountants, and offers the best of both worlds - providing the services of a larger firm while retaining the ability to connect with her clients on a personal level.
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