CTC tips — create a holiday budget

Tying Gift Bow

How are your 2013 financial goals coming along? With 2014 approaching fast, now is the time to make a final push to reach or even exceed your goals.

This can be particularly difficult with Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner. Food, decorations, gifts, and travel: usually this is a time to spend, not save. Hopefully, when you created your financial goals, you also created a holiday budget to help you stay on track during this time of the year. But if you don’t have a holiday budget, it’s not too late to make one.

When you make your budget, don’t start with a list of all the things you need. Even if you only stick to this list, you can end up spending more money than you can afford.

Instead, start by reviewing your finances and calculating how much money you can afford to spend without affecting your goals. Then create your shopping lists for food and gifts, keeping the cost of everything under the maximum dollar amount you just calculated.

This might mean making some sacrifices but remember: you don’t need to spend a lot of money to make good food, give great gifts, and ultimately have a wonderful holiday season.

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