You can start prepping for the most wonderful time of the year right now! Early holiday planning allows you to spend your time doing what the holidays are intended for – celebrating and spending time with loved ones.
The holidays may seem to approach more quickly every year, but there are ways to stay ahead of the rush. Do this by creating financial goals, making a to-do list, checking your car and home insurance and updating travel documents and photo identification. These tasks may create more time for you to finally try to make your Grandma’s secret eggnog recipe!
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If you are hosting Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, NYE, or any other end-of-the-year festivity, we have you covered. Let’s look at a few ways you can get ready for upcoming holidays… today.
Set Financial Goals
Plan your budget for the holidays to think about the expenses for travel, gifts, and party planning. You can allocate funds in a banking account just for this purpose, or put a set amount of cash in a big jar each week. This is a fun way to track your savings progress.
Assume there will be unexpected costs during the holidays. For example, you may experience travel cancellations or delays. You may need to reserve a hotel or buy extra meals at the airport if this happens. Having extra cash on hand will come in handy.
Keep in mind that you may need last-minute presents or hostess gifts for invites to dinners or parties. Having a set budget will help make your RSVP decision easier because you will know if these expenses will work for you. Plus, you can enjoy all of your other events without worrying about it affecting your finances!
Make a To-Do List
Making a to-do list is helpful for holiday planning for several reasons. They reduce stress, help with prioritization, and set goals with clear action items. For example, if you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, you will have further tasks like ordering the turkey, ensuring you have enough tableware, washing table linens and silverware, and preparing the menu and a grocery list for the items you will need.
When able to see everything written in front of you, you’ll feel empowered! You will have better time management, the awareness to record important details, and you will be more organized. Plus, the crossing of an item off the list feels so satisfying – doesn’t it?!
To do lists are a great tool during all times of the year, too. Get excited and head to your local office supply store or order a special notebook just for this purpose. While you are at it, go nuts and pick up colored pens to make it even more fun!
Travel Documents and Photo Identification
If you are traveling by airplane or train, your travel documents and Photo ID need to be up-to-date. Be sure to check the expiration dates for your driver’s license and passport. If the date is approaching, schedule an appointment with the DMV to renew your license. Head to your local post office to inquire about what steps are necessary if you need to update your passport or check online.
This task is especially important if you have children. You may need to provide their birth certificate or a doctor’s note if your destination requires them. Contact the vital records office of the state the child was born in to obtain an official copy of a birth certificate. Unofficial copies may not be considered a valid source of identification. If you need a doctor’s note, make an appointment and ask for medical records that include vaccinations.
It is never fun when you get to the airport and realize you forgot an important document or it has expired. Take the initiative to do this well in advance so getting through TSA or security is easy breezy!
Planning for End of the Year Celebrations
Getting ready for the holidays now is one of the best ways you can truly enjoy the season. Prepare your budget for specific goals, make lists, and update all ID and travel documents now and you will sure to be on anyone’ s “nice” list!