Holiday Budget Extras You Are Forgetting

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Sometimes it's hard to balance saving money during a time of year where we spend a lot, but it's helpful to budget.  Many people do the right thing by laying out a Christmas spending budget. You put a limit on what you'll spend for the kids, your spouse, and teachers. And that's good. But that's not the whole picture.

There are a lot of additional costs that we neglect to fold into holiday spending like the tree. Let's say you spend $50 on your tree. Then there are the Christmas events. Many people get a new outfit, shoes, jewelry. That could easily run you $80 or more.  But here's a big holiday budget buster you probably aren't thinking about - food. We spend a lot more on food and drinks this time of year than we normally do.  We have company over and we serve up bigger meals. Let's toss in another $150 for food and drink. Just these three things take us nearly $300 above what we've budgeted. That's a big difference. 

So add these costs in but also try a few things to cut back on spending. Here are three ideas.

Electronics are big gift item each year. Buy a refurbished model - used but like new.  I do it all of the time. I just bought a 'new to me' refurbished laptop. My cell phones, my tablet - all refurbs. They work just fine and cost less. And often they have the same warranty coverage.

You can save money by skipping buying a gift. Instead offer a service like helping out with a night of babysitting for a relative. And, finally, if you're not going see the gift recipient until after Christmas, wait until January to buy it. The price could drop.