holiday budget planning

How to Plan Your Budget for the Holidays

‘Tis the season to be jolly! After such a sad year, we all need some holiday cheer. Bring out the decorations and the lights. Reunite with family and friends in small get-togethers. Celebrate your holiday traditions, like hanging stockings or singing favorite carols. But there’s also one very important holiday ritual that you should never, ever forget: making a holiday budget.

Get A Budget In Place For Holiday Planning

A holiday budget can help you prevent overspending and make the most of what you have. You set priorities and consciously decide what purchases will give you the most value. Here are some great tips on how to plan your budget, where to get great bargains, and how to raise extra money for special purchases.

Learn From The Past, Plan For The Future

Try to recall how much you spent last year. Were you able to stick to your budget? Where did you overspend? What areas do you think you can cut back?

Now, make your new holiday budget. First, calculate the total amount you’re going to spend. Financial experts say you should stay within 1.5% of your annual income on holiday expenses. Divide that amount among these five categories:

  • Gifts
  • Entertaining
  • Meals
  • Travel

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a special holiday celebration. Here are some creative ways to save for every holiday category.

How To Save On Holiday Gifts

Give homemade gifts. You can bake cookies, make DIY body scrubs or hand scrubs and package them in pretty mason jars, or make simple craft projects like painted flower pots. You’ll find plenty of great recipes and craft ideas online!

Give group gifts. Got a large extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins? Instead of giving them individual gifts, buy or make them something they can all enjoy together. It can be food, a bottle of wine, a board game, scrapbook materials, etc.

Buy gifts throughout the year. Instead of cramming all your holiday shopping in a few days, spread out your purchases. Take advantage of seasonal sales, compare prices, or look for small online stores that sell unique items that can match your loved one’s personality or interests.

Go local. Try to support local businesses. They often have good prices (especially during the holidays), you’ll save on shipping, and you’re also stimulating the local economy.

How To Save On Entertaining

Keep it small and simple. Large, extravagant parties are not only more expensive but maybe impractical during the pandemic. Limit your guest list and keep get-togethers short—for example, a light brunch or dinner, rather than a party that lasts till dawn.

Make a potluck. Ask everyone to bring their favorite holiday dish! You can discuss it beforehand and assign people to bring a main dish, dessert, wine, etc.

Go Dutch. It may sometimes be cheaper – and more convenient – to just meet friends for dinner and split the bill.

How To Save On Holiday Meals

Many of the traditional holiday food have more expensive ingredients—and prices can go up because of the increased demand. Factor this into your holiday budget. To keep costs down, make a meal plan and look for alternative recipes on the Internet. Also check if you can substitute some ingredients. For example, you can get cheaper cuts of meat and use a slow cooker or pressure cooker to make them tender.

How To Save On Holiday Travel

There are so many ways to save on your holiday vacation. Go on a road trip, or look for affordable inns, bed, and breakfasts, or homes on Airbnb—these are often more charming than those five-star resorts. Or, you can have a simple staycation at a hotel: many of them have great holiday packages. Just remember to book your vacation ahead. You’re more likely to get discounts if you book early.

Handle Unexpected Emergencies With A Title Pawn Or Payday Loan

Trying to plan your holiday celebration but an unexpected situation has presented itself? You can get title pawns and payday loans to help you handle them. This short-term financial assistance doesn’t require a high credit rating and has very quick processing. In fact, you can start either one of our applications completely online!

holiday planning finances with using payday loan

What Are Title Pawns And Payday Loans?

To get Alabama title pawns – similar to title loans in other states – you simply use your vehicle as collateral. The vehicle can be a car, SUV, motorcycle, or even an RV. As long as it is in your name and free of prior loans, it should qualify! And don’t worry, you can still use your car while you are repaying the loan!

Now, Alabama online payday loans are unsecured loans you would get if you are in between your paychecks but need quick cash right away. The great thing about this loan is that it is unsecured – meaning you do not need to put anything up as collateral.

How Do I Get Title Pawns Or Payday Loans?

The process of getting title pawns and payday loans are pretty similar – and both quick. Both processes begin with you filling out our online form. You can specify whether you are going for the title pawn or the payday loan. Then, once submitted, the form is sent to the nearest title pawn near me open now and you will receive a call from one of our loan representatives.

During this call, the loan representative will walk you through the remainder of the process. You’ll also find out what items you must bring for both the pawn and the loan. For the title pawn, you have to bring your ID, your vehicle’s title that is in your name, and your vehicle. For the payday loan, you have to bring your ID, your social security card, your most recent pay stub, a recent 30-day bank statement, and a blank check from an active checking account in your name.

After you hang up the phone, you can head down to Alabama Title Loans, Inc. to finish the process. We will sit down with you to go over your items. And if you are going for a title pawn then we will do a vehicle inspection to determine how much you qualify for. For payday loans, we will just go over your items – no vehicle inspection necessary. We will also go over the terms and help you finish your application. In just 30 minutes from the time you walk into the store, you will learn if you’ve been approved and for how much.

Remember These Tips For Your Next Holiday Celebration

Now, you have everything you need for your holiday expenses: a good budget, saving tips, and a way to get extra money too. And if an emergency is threatening your special holiday plans, turn to title pawns or payday loans for help. Enjoy your special celebration!

Note: The content provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and you should contact your financial advisor about your specific financial situation.

June Mckaig

June Mckaig writes articles on finance and budgeting, hoping to provide insight amidst the overwhelming crowds of information on the internet. She feels that with all this accessibility comes a lot of false data, and she would like to contribute astute, helpful input that she knows can help others. If you would like to learn more about June's research, read more here.