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Self-Employed and the Holidays

Being Self-Employed in the holidays can be very hard if you don’t have a plan. Don’t let Christmas be an expense you didn’t prepare for. Create a budget that includes the holidays as a line item. A lot of times we have a budget for Monthly expenses and when an unforeseen cost comes we are not prepared and it can become devastating. Here some tips to help you prepare:

Take A Look At What You Spent on Christmas Last Year
Start by plugging in your normal monthly expenses like gas, utilities, insurance etc. Then, enter your more flexible spending budget groups, like business dinners, advertising and charitable donations. What’s left? Will that be enough for Christmas? If not, you may have to adjust some of that flexible spending to make it work.

If you typically spend $500 on business dinners in a month, why not make it a business breakfast or lunch and stash an extra $300 toward Christmas savings? Or if your flexible money is on the higher side, why not reduce it in the fall or hold off (temporarily) and put the extra money into your Christmas fund? Smart budgeting now can free up more money for what you want later!

Separate Your Christmas Budget Into Categories
Don’t just budget for gifts to your clients, family or friends. Remember you need to budget for all things Christmas: decorations, wrapping paper, travel, festive meals, charitable donations, and anything else you’re planning to do over the holidays for your family or business.

Once you’ve figured out how much you can spend on Christmas, do some simple math. Take your number and think over your seasonal expenses. Make a goal amount and stick to it! You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can pile up a stash of cash when you just make a point to save.

Now that you have your Christmas budget all set, you know how much you’ll need to add to your Christmas fund. As long as you plan where your money will go before you spend it, there’s no right or wrong way to split up your Christmas budget.

Next Year Plan Ahead With a Christmas Fund
Once you’ve determined the total you want to spend on Christmas, determine when you want to start saving and divide it by the number of weeks left until Christmas.
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