The joy of the holiday season can be overpowered with shopping stress and financial difficulties. To avoid this situation, consider this approach:
- In mid-to-late November, create a spreadsheet to manage your holiday spending. Categories might include gifts for family and friends, donations to charity, holiday meals along with other items such as shipping, wrapping paper, decorations, parties, and travel.
- Enter realistic amounts that you are able to spend for the various people on your gift list and for the other categories.
- Monitor your actual spending, attempting to stay within your budget.
- Based on this year’s experiences, adjust categories and amounts for the 2019 holiday season.
The spreadsheet might include columns for name/item, budgeted amount, actual amount, difference, and notes for future reference. Starting earlier in the year, consider setting aside holiday money to avoid taking away funds from your normal budget. You might also consider using credit card and other reward points for gifts.
For additional information on a holiday spending spreadsheet, click here.
- Have students create a spreadsheet that might be used to monitor holiday spending.
- Have students talk to others to obtain ideas for not overspending during the holiday season.
- How would you make use of a spreadsheet for holiday spending?
- Describe actions that might be taken to monitor and control holiday spending.