During the holidays it can be tempting to spend a little money on myself. There are so many cool gadgets and so many great deals that it’s hard to pass up the opportunity. But if you’re on a strict budget this time of year, it can be tricky to make sure that you’re not spending a lot more than you should.
If you’re looking for ways to stay on budget during the holiday season, try a zero-based budget.
What is it?
It’s actually a simple concept: Income minus expenditures equals zero.
When you’re budgeting for the holidays, you’ll want to know exactly where every dollar is being spent.
Here’s how to make a zero-based holiday budget in three easy steps…
Start by writing down your total allotted income: For this example, we’ll say that you’ve got $1000 to spend. Before you start spending money, make sure that your total is going to be enough to cover everything that you want to do.
Jot down your expenses: Write down everything, including gifts (write down each person, even yourself), decorations, food, clothing, and anything else you can think of. Beside each line, write down how much you want to spend on each item.
It’s time to subtract:When you subtract your expenses from your allotted income, you want it to come out to zero. You may have to look over your list, maybe even check it twice, but once you’ve got it balanced out, it’ll be “real nice.”
If you stick to your list and don’t let any item go over budget, you’ll be right where you want to be come January.