(NC)—The holiday season often sparks memories of eggnog, mistletoe and hours spent at the crowded mall. But for many, the holiday season is also a reminder of: gifts to be bought, parties to attend, décor for the home, and even increased travel expenses.
Plan your expenses now so the winter weather is the only unexpected surprise this season.
1. Book travel plans in advance. Traveling during the holidays is expensive and you can often spend twice as much for flights at this time of year. Book early and save your money and the hassle of trying to find last minute deals.
2. Host a potluck. Holiday parties can be expensive so ask friends and family to chip in by bringing food, drinks and even décor. The cost per person is minimal and everyone will be happy to contribute to the festivities.
3. Reuse decorations. What would the holidays be without lights, tinsel and a little mistletoe? At the end of the year, store all of the decoration in a cool, dry place so you can use them again next year.
4. Create a budget. A recent study by MasterCard Canada reports that one in five Canadians (17 %) don’t budget for the holidays. Create a budget at the beginning of the year that includes all your expenses – from gift giving to that New Year’s Eve outfit.
5. Plan for the unexpected. If you’re buying a gift, you better budget for wrapping paper, cards and the bow to go on top, too. Small, unexpected items can add up so include them in your budget.
For more information about holiday budgeting, visit MasterCard.ca.