The Christmas holidays may very well be one of the most expensive season of the year. It is very easy to go over-budget with all the parties to attend and the gifts to buy. I did not even mention the funds you need to set aside for the food you and your family will consume during the most festive of months.
Fortunately, you do not need to break the bank that much to have an unforgettable Christmas holidays. Here are a few money tips and tricks you may want to consider to make the most of the yuletide and still save up this holiday season:
Create a budget
It is very easy to lose track of your holiday spending if you will not create a budget. Make sure that you prepare a list of all your holiday spending. Include in your list everything you will need to make a budget for. This may include your Christmas gift shopping list and your December grocery list. You may very well throw in your airfare or transportation expenses for your holiday travel into your list. You should also include tips for delivery crews or parking lot attendants in your list.
Stick to your budget
Of course, it does not end with just creating a holiday budget. The second and most important part of it to make it effective is that you need to stick to your budget. You may go a little over your designated budget for each item on the list, but make sure you are still near the ball park figure to avoid going bankrupt, or worse, in depth of debt, after the holidays.
Ces Oreňa-Drilon has never met a story she wasn’t passionate about pursuing or a challenge she didn’t face head-on with a positive spirit.
When the former reporter and Bandila anchor lost her job when ABS-CBN’s franchise was not renewed at the height of the pandemic in 2020, Ces turned to farming and entrepreneurship to sustain her. Out of the newsroom, she also explored digital platforms to reach her audiences.
Ces, who was also former Content Acquisition Head of ABS-CBN Lifestyle Ecosystem Group, says, “Leaving the anchor’s chair was my own decision because I wanted to leave my comfort zone and try new things like digital. So, I took the plunge and tried my hand at livestreaming. I was very nervous at first because I was communicating to a younger audience, which I was not used to. But to my surprise it became one of the best things I did during the pandemic. I was so happy, and my fear of having dead air and talking to 20-year-olds was unfounded. It was also a new way of generating income during the pandemic.”
The award-winning broadcast journalist who, for over 30 years, was on our TV sets chasing hard news and feature stories found that there was a whole new world away from the newsroom. It may be a cliché but it’s true that when a door closes, a window opens.
For Ces, it was becoming an entrepreneur, content creator, and a farmer. She founded and launched Provenciana, which produces smudge sticks or bundles of dried herbs that you burn to produce a cleansing cloud of smoke for positive energy; soaps; and other natural home products.
“I learned to adapt and try new things because the road to success is never a straight line. For me the secret to success is enjoying what you do, and also to savor life’s little pleasures. Don’t forget to celebrate living.”
In this hardest of times, making both ends meet is a struggle in itself. This is why it is a must to analyze your budget so you can maximize your spending power, ensure that there is enough budget to spend for needs and wants, and guarantee that money is set aside for important expenses, as well as for emergencies and similar unexpected expenses.
Examining your budget may be challenging, but here are a few effective ways you can practice to effectively analyze your budget:
Compute your monthly income
To analyze and create your monthly budget, you must first compute your regular monthly income. This would include all the funds that are coming in regularly by the end of the month. In case of unfixed or commission-based monthly income, you can compute for the average and include that to make your computation more comprehensive. It is also a must to subtract items like income tax and payables, as well as loans or social security contributions, in order to compute your net income, or the actual funds you receive at the end of the month.
List down your monthly expenses
In the same manner, you must also list down all your monthly expense to help you set your monthly budget and analyze whether it is enough to cover all your expenses for the month. Your list must include all your fixed expenses, or those that you need to regularly pay each month. This may include rent, car mortgage, school tuition, insurance premiums, and the likes. Variable expenses, on the other hand, are those that may vary from one month to the next and must also be included in your list. Such expenses include gas, groceries, funds for dining out or food takeaway, medical expenses, as well as car maintenance and repair fees.