23 Oct How To Budget For Thanksgiving
Although a bountiful harvest is part of the Thanksgiving tradition, this annual family gathering shouldn’t break the bank. The average cost of Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people decreased to just under $50 in 2016, but that number doesn’t include decorations or travel costs. Thanksgiving is just the start of the holiday expenses, with Christmas a little more than a month away. It’s important to budget for Thanksgiving to ensure you have enough money to buy presents for all of the special individuals in your life.
Set a budget
This may seem obvious, but many people start spending on the holidays and only realize they need a budget after they’ve maxed out a credit card. Before you put anything in your cart, decide how much you can realistically spend on Thanksgiving dinner and decorations. Try to refrain from swiping your credit card whenever possible. With Christmas just around the corner, you don’t want to be in debt from Thanksgiving.
Spend wisely on dinner
The early shopper gets the cheapest bird, so buy your Thanksgiving turkey in advance. Fresh turkeys are typically more expensive than their frozen counterparts. Choose side dishes with seasonal ingredients, or buy canned food if a family recipe can’t be sacrificed. Try checking out your local farmer’s market for Brussel sprouts, which peak at the end of November. Planning a giant dinner? Pick up your groceries at Costco for bulk food at massive discounts.
Serve homemade dishes
In many cases, cooking some of your dinner at home from scratch is less expensive than buying pre-made. Although it is more time consuming, baking pies and bread at home can save you lots of money on your grocery bills. If you’re having trouble filling the table, there is no shame in asking your family to hold a potluck dinner this year. Each member of your family can bring a dish to take the burden off of your finances.
Shop on Black Friday
Whether or not your Thanksgiving expenses were higher than anticipated, be sure stop by the local stores for Black Friday steals. Purchasing Christmas presents on sale can help alleviate your holiday budget constraints. This is also the perfect time to stock up on inexpensive Thanksgiving decorations for next year.
Before throwing away your Halloween decorations, carefully evaluate which ones can be repurposed for Thanksgiving. Pumpkins, colorful leaves, and other fall decor will look perfect at the dinner table if you throw in a set of Pilgrim salt and pepper shakers. Pinecones and festive handmade signs can spruce up a living room, especially if you light a crackling fire in the fireplace.
At the Bank of the Lowcountry, we want you to meet all of your yearly financial goals. Contact a representative today to open a checking and savings account with our secure bank. Give us a call today at (843) 549-2265.