Ever wonder where your money goes over the festive season? Rather than ruining your credit score on a month of lavish spending, set up a budget before the season of giving starts so that you don’t end up broke over the holidays and enter the New Year under undue financial pressure. To help you budget for the month ahead, here are some of the household expenses you will need to make room for over the holiday season:

1. Going broke on groceries
The tendency to snack increases over this time of year, so be prepared to add onto your grocery budget. The festive season encourages us to indulge and give into our food cravings, which means that you’re likely to stock up on all kinds of snacks that you normally would convince yourself you don’t need. If you are inviting people over to enjoy meals together, this will also influence your spending habits.

2. Holidays mean higher electricity bill
Along with the tree and the stockings, Christmas lights are an integral part of setting the Christmas spirit. Depending on how often you plan to switch these on, along with any other electric decorations (singing Santa’s, glowing reindeers, and the likes), you should be prepared to spend more on your electric bill over December. Simply being at home also means that you are likely to use electric devices more often than when you are at work all day, from switching on fans and air-conditioning units to watching more television and cooking bigger meals more frequently – all of which will increase your electrical usage.

3. Holiday décor for the household
Especially for those who are hosting guests, you might find that you’re suddenly spending more on decorative items, from Christmas serviettes to household decorations or even just new items to make your home look great. Even if you aren’t planning on hosting guests, having time at home might inspire you to tackle some DIY décor projects you don’t have time for during the rest of the year.

4. For the homeowner away from home…
For pet-owning homeowners who are planning on travelling over the holidays, remember to budget for pet-sitters or holiday kennels. Holidaying homeowners should also remember to make sure they have enough electricity and non-perishable food at home so that they do not return to a dark home with nothing to eat. The last thing you want to do on your way back from a long drive or flight is to stop at the grocery store, so be sure to budget and plan for this before you leave for your trip.

Final Thoughts
If you’re really struggling to make ends meet over the festive season, you could always contact your nearest RE/MAX agent and start a search for properties that are more affordable.