The holidays are coming sooner than you think, and along with the festivities are several expenses gig workers should budget for starting now. Time spent with friends and family is priceless, and you’ll be able to enjoy your time more knowing you’ve already covered your expenses for the season. Budgeting as a gig worker can be tricky, so here are some expenses you should start budgeting for now.
Holidays often include some amount of travel, whether it’s visiting family out of state, taking a vacation, or taking a road trip to spend time with friends. You can budget for travel by estimating your costs ahead of time. Be sure to include gas, airfare, car rental, meals on the road, and any hotel stays. If you’re taking time off, make sure you account for lost wages for the time you won’t be working gigs.
If gift giving is a regular part of your holiday celebrations, create a budget and start saving now. Make a list of people you plan on including in your gift list and how much you’ll spend on each person. Not only does this help you plan your shopping list, but it will encourage you to avoid impulse buys or overspending. Once you have your total, you can adjust your spending expectations for the next few months to help cover the costs.
Pro tip: Next year, you can spread the gift costs for the holiday season throughout the entire year by saving a little bit each month.
Food and drinks
Food and drinks are a natural part of almost every holiday celebration and if you’re hosting guests, you may need to adjust your grocery budget for the season. Think about how many meals you’ll be hosting and if they’ll require any expensive food items like special cuts of meat. Also think about the number of guests you’ll host and increase your budget accordingly. Don’t forget to include drinks, whether that’s a celebrity bottle of bubbly or extra hot chocolate.
For many, decorating for the season is nearly as exciting as celebrating the season itself. Whether you plan on a centerpiece for the dinner table, a wreath for the door, or paying professionals to hang up lights, decoration expenses can add up quickly. If you need new decorations for the season, include a decorations budget so you can still cover your expenses while adding to the beauty of your home.
Budgeting for the holidays isn’t meant to crush your holiday spirit. Instead, it allows you to make a plan to cover costs. By creating a budget, you can find out if you need to pick up a few extra gigs to cover expenses, and you can plan to do that ahead of time instead of spending the season stressing or having to miss out on fun because you have to work. Picking up gig work over the holidays may be a great way to make extra cash if you have the time, but sticking to a budget means you can choose to do that instead of your finances making the choice for you.
This article is not intended to provide financial, tax or legal advice and the information provided may not address your individual circumstances.