Guest Submission by Kara Masterson
If you’re like many families, then you try to save money throughout the year for the holiday season. This is a good idea so that you don’t have to worry about using entire paychecks at the end of the year just to purchase gifts for family members and friends. However, there are a few expenses that could arise that you need to budget for that aren’t as thought about as presents.
One of the things that you might not think about during the holiday season is your vehicle. You’ll need windshield wipers that are strong enough to get through the ice and snow that falls. Snow tires are also a good idea to consider, especially if you live in an area of the country that sees a lot of snow during the winter months. You should also budget for a battery or alternator in the event that the one you have has been showing signs of failing.
Sometimes, the gloves and hats that fit last year might not fit the following year. That is if you can even still find matching pairs. Budget money for new clothes and accessories that can keep your family warm. Try to look for sales when these items are stocked in the stores so that you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Many families end up getting new gloves every year. Buying them on clearance in the spring can help you be ready for winter for a fraction of the price. You’ll also not have to spend the money from paychecks close to the holidays. You can also look for these items at secondhand stores, washing them when you get home before they are worn.
The cold weather of the holiday season often means that more people spend time indoors than outside. This means that more germs are spread from one person to another. Try to set money aside for visits to the doctor and for cold treatments so that you can get your family the proper medical care that is needed.
It seems like there’s always someone you need to get a gift for who you didn’t include on your list. This could be a friend, teacher, or even a relative who you didn’t expect to see. One way to budget for unexpected gifts is to use reward points that are offered by some stores. You can also look for buy one, get one free gifts so that you have an extra item on hand in case it’s needed for that unexpected guest or last minute party.
The heat and additional resources that you use in the winter months aren’t going to be cheap. Save during the year for the higher utility bills that you could have during the holiday season instead of scrambling to try to pay a higher bill with each paycheck that you have. An option would be to talk to your electric company to see if you can be put on a budget plan so that you pay the same amount each month. This will make it easier to know how much you’ll pay instead of being surprised when you open the bill.
There are many ways to budget money during the year so that you’re prepared for the holiday season. Start a savings account at your bank, or put money in an envelope for the holidays that you keep hidden in a safe place in your home. When you’re prepared for emergencies and the expenses that are sometimes overlooked, then the holiday season can be enjoyed.
More About the Author
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the
University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.
*Photos courtesy of Kara Masterson