Hidden Costs of the Holidays

Woman and child wrapping gifts

The holidays may look different this year with less traveling and gathering. However, there are still opportunities to make the season feel festive. And when it comes to planning your holiday budget, it’s important to remember that not all holiday costs are placed underneath the tree. Here are several hidden holiday costs that are often overlooked:

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.

Food
Preparing special meals can add up quickly, even if it is just with immediate family. Make sure to account for all the appetizers, desserts, and beverages that go along with the main course. Using disposable plates and silverware can make clean up easy, but can also add to the overall cost of a meal.

Gift Wrapping
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. Keep in mind that the more gifts you purchase the more gift wrapping supplies you’ll need.

Sending Gifts and Cards
With fewer gatherings and opportunities to see friends and family, you may want to consider the cost of mailing gifts. Even purchasing stamps to send out a holiday greeting card can be surprising if you aren’t expecting it.

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.

Self-Gifting
When out shopping for your loved ones, you might stumble upon something that would be a perfect gift for you! Be sure to set some of your budget aside so that you are prepared to treat yourself if the moment arises.

No matter how you choose to celebrate, you can help keep your season merry and bright by making sure 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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