December has a lot to consider. Many Americans are celebrating a variety of holidays, spending money on presents, and eating delicious food. However, there are also things like freezing weather, taxes, and holiday shopping debt. Here are some December budget tips to account for all your needs and avoid going beyond your means.
5 December Budget Tips
Use these December budget tips to better prepare your finances for the end of the year.
Account for All Holiday Expenses
While gifts are the easiest and typically the biggest expense of the holiday season, there are many other items to consider. Are you hosting any parties or events? Have you included wrapping paper, cards, bows, bags, and tape? Holiday greeting cards don’t pay for themselves. Remember that they also need postage! Finally, keep in mind any travel expenses you might incur, like gas or travel tickets. Use this Holiday Budget Worksheet to plan your costs.
Hopefully, you won’t have to face any serious weather-related housing issue. If you do, they can be quite expensive. Frozen or broken pipes can be anything from an inconvenience to complete disaster. Take some time and money to prep your pipes if you need to. Drain your garden hoses and faucets as well. Finally, take any other precautionary weatherization steps to save money down the road.
End of Year Charitable Donations
Next, think about any end of year donations you may want to make. Whether to your church, alma mater or another non-profit entity, now is the time. Your charitable donation will help you with your taxes. Plus, you will feel great doing it! Make sure this is included in your budget.
Typically, taxes are due in the next calendar year. However, sometimes a tax bill comes early. If you are self-employed, you may need to file quarterly taxes. Make sure all your tax ducks are in a row heading into December and the new year.
Unexpected Shopping Debt
Finally, you may have to deal with credit card debt. I love giving gifts, so I know how easy it is to get carried away. However, there is a big difference between $50 and $200. The money has to come from somewhere. If you shopped during November and overspent, you will need to get out of debt quickly. Make this a priority.
If you’re struggling to get out of debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.