The parties, gifts, and extravagant food add up.

Be honest with yourself about your finances.

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We all do it, right? Spend more than we should, impulsively buy things we don’t need, pay a premium for things we could do ourselves…especially during the holiday season. The parties, gifts, trips and extravagant food add up. That extra $20 you spent on designer paper plates and cups or the extra bottle of Whiskey you decided to bring to your family gathering may not seem like a lot in the moment but if you added up all of the money you spent over the holiday would you be in for a shock? It’s certainly easy to blow past your intended budget quickly and at light speed.

So, we sat down with The Budget Mom, Kumiko Ehrmantraut to talk how to budget for the holidays and tips for staying on track. (Take a listen here) It may be a bit late in the game for this year but if you want to get a handle on your budget in the new year, start today!

Take full stock of your finances and be honest with yourself. Know what you have and know what you need. Look over your bank account for the last few months. Where are you wasting money? Lay out all of your bills. Are you current on all of your accounts? Figure out what you owe, if you have debt. No debt, what do you want to save? And write everything down! Unwritten goals are just a wish.

Start there and check out The Budget Mom for more details on starting 2019 off right. And remember! Don’t just think about how to spend the least amount of money. Think about how to grow your money for the future. They can be done at the same time!