It is the season of giving, indeed! The National Retail Federation expects the average American to spend $ 997.73 on gifts and other vacation expenses this year.
The holiday season runs from November to December and includes four major holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. Giving gifts is an important part of the holiday celebration. But he can also break the bank if you are not careful.
âMost students in general need to be careful with their spending, especially medical students who face significant student debt,â said Alberto Diaz, assistant director of financial aid at Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. “They have to factor in those extra expenses like vacation travel to visit family and friends and buy gifts.”
To solve this problem, the College of Medicine Financial Aid Office created a short video that includes five vacation budget tips for its medical students. But, this is useful information for everyone.
- Create a vacation budget
Budget for gifts, decor, and vacation get-togethers. Plan to spend no more than 1% to 1.5% of your gross income. So if your income is $ 40,000 / year, you should be looking to spend between $ 400 and $ 500. If it’s $ 20,000, try not to spend more than $ 200 to $ 300.
- Create a gift list
Prepare a list of those you will donate and assign a dollar amount to each. And track your spending. There are several free apps to help you track your spending, including Microsoft Excel and / or Google Sheets.
- Organize potlucks
Save money on the holidays by hosting potlucks and similar holiday festivities. If you are exchanging gifts, consider making a secret white elephant or Santa Claus.
- Homemade gifts
If your budget is tight, consider making your own gifts. It will save you money and be a personally meaningful gift for the recipient.
- Look for the sales!
Start shopping early! Make sure to look for deals on Black Friday and Cyber ââMonday. Price match where possible. And always look for discounts.
If the holiday budget is stressing you out, remember that the holidays are about more than giving gifts. Instead, just consider sharing your time, love, and kindness. They are free and invaluable.