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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Set your 2018 holiday budget now

STILLWATER, Okla. – The Christmas tree may still be standing in the living room. The gifts you received might not be put away. There may even be holiday meal leftovers still in the refrigerator.
Set your 2018 holiday budget now

Setting your holiday budget early in the year, and putting money aside each month, can help ease the financial strain some families may face during the holiday season.

Despite the fact you still may be in the 2017 holiday spirit, it is not too early to start planning for the 2018 holiday season, said Cindy Clampet, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension family resource management assistant specialist. 

“Just after the holiday is a great time to plan ahead. This can help cut down on the stress you may have felt physically and financially,” Clampet said. “If you postponed shopping, addressing cards and planning your special meals, you could easily have overspent your budget buying gifts at the last minute. This can be extremely stressful.”

One easy way to set your budget for the next holiday is to add up what you spent for Christmas 2017. Be sure to include gifts, food, holiday parties, special clothing, baking supplies and even stamps if you are inclined to send cards. Were there people you wanted to purchase gifts for but either did not have time or funds? Include that amount on your expense list.

Once it has been established what you spent in each of these categories, add them up. When you have your total, cushion it by about 25 percent. Say your total is $1,000. Adding 25 percent brings it to $1,250. Now divide by 12 and that will give you the amount you need to set aside each month to cover your expenses next December. In this case, set aside about $105 each month so you can pay cash for everything next season.

“If you realize this amount isn’t doable and will break your monthly budget, step back and look at your list again,” she said. “Think of ways to reduce spending. Perhaps restructure your gift giving by drawing names or buying only for the children in the family.”

Be sure to check out any post-holiday sales for items such as wrapping paper, ribbons and bows, decorations, paper plate and napkins. Most retailers offer these things at a deep discount.

“Keep in mind time and money are both at a premium during the holidays,” Clampet said. “Getting your plan in place now will help ensure an enjoyable holiday next time around.”

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 Trisha Gedon
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
Oklahoma State University
136 Agriculture North
Stillwater, OK  74078
405-744-3625 (phone)
405-744-5739 (fax)
trisha.gedon@okstate.edu

 

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078
405.744.5000