Hidden Costs of the Holidays

Woman and child wrapping giftsWhen it comes to planning your holiday budget, it’s important to remember that not all holiday costs are placed underneath the tree. Reviewing last year’s financial statements may show where you spent the most money to help you anticipate this year’s expenses. Here are several hidden holiday costs that are often overlooked:

Transportation
If you are planning to fly for the holidays, the plane ticket might not be the only thing to include when budgeting for transportation. Don’t forget to incorporate baggage fees and parking costs into your plan. Even if you are taking a road trip or staying home for the season, anticipate extra costs for gas as you attend holiday parties and visit family.

Decorations
Many people enjoy decorating their home inside and out for the holidays. While festive garlands, ornaments, stockings, and centerpieces can be beautiful, adding to your décor or replacing items can also add expenses. Keep in mind that extra lights to turn your home into a twinkling wonderland may also increase your energy bill.

Social Events
The cost of food associated with hosting a gathering is usually a large expense. However, even if you are just attending an event, the cost of bringing appetizers, desserts, or beverages to contribute to the festivities may add up quickly.

Wrapping and Sending Gifts
It’s easy to forget the costs of supplies needed to package presents. Wrapping paper, gift bags, and other accessories like ribbons, tags, and bows all add to the cost of gifts. You may want to consider the cost of postage to mail gifts and cards as well.

Holiday Thanking
We like to show our appreciation for special people in our lives. Mail carriers, teachers, hairdressers, and garbage collectors are all people we may feel connected to. Small tokens of appreciation or tips can also add up to a large expense.

No matter what holiday you celebrate, you can help keep your season merry and bright by making sure that you consider some of these unexpected extras in your holiday prep.

This article is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

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