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Will You Spend $882 (or More) on Holiday Expenses This Year?

November 29th, 2016 · No Comments · Budgeting

by Kristy Welsh

(Last Updated On: August 23, 2017)

Will You Spend $882 (or More) on Holiday Expenses This Year?

Since you don’t get one big bill for your holiday spending, it’s easy to lose track. And the sooner you start – on Black Friday, for example – the easier it is for ten dollars here and twenty dollars there to slip through the cracks. If you do the math, though, you might come up with a figure something like this — $882, the total holiday spend per person last year.

How Holiday Spending Breaks Down

According to credit reporting bureau TransUnion, average holiday spending in 2015 looked like this:

  • Gifts$574.05
  • Greeting cards — $28.98
  • Holiday food — $104.74
  • Decorations — $53.30
  • Airfare — $383

If you do the math, this actually adds up to a lot more than $882 per person. If you were to spend the average in every holiday expense category, you’d actually be looking at a whopping $1,144.07. And only time will tell how much larger that figure might be in 2016.

How Does Your Holiday Spending Compare?

If you don’t know what you usually spend on holiday expenses, maybe this is the year to find out. It’s as simple as writing down every penny you spend – on gifts, cards, holiday food, decorations, and holiday-related travel – between now and the end of the year.

What’s even better, though, is creating a holiday budget first.

Instead of being surprised by what you spend, a holiday budget lets you know well in advance what you’re going to spend because it’s based on what you can actually afford.

Helpful Tips for Spending Less

Whether it looks like you’re going to spend more than you can afford this year, or you just want to find a way to spend less so you can put that money toward savings, there are plenty of things you can do to minimize holiday expenses.

Here are some good places to start:

What If You Cut Your Holiday Budget In Half?

50 Cheap (and Thoughtful) Christmas Gift Ideas

How to Avoid Christmas Credit Card Debt

Keep in mind, you’re not aiming for average here. You’re aiming to limit holiday expenses to what works for your overall budget and your financial goals in the New Year.

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