The views expressed in Economy Matters are not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta or the Federal Reserve System.
Editor's note: Throughout Economy Matters, "Southeast" refers to the six states that, in whole or in part, make up the Sixth Federal Reserve District: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
Financial Tips from the Atlanta Fed: Budgeting for the Holidays and for Life
The holiday season is nearly upon us, and it’s not too late to take steps to keep your finances in check. Creating a budget plan can help get you through year-end financial challenges as well as propel you into the new year.
These tips can help manage financial pressures and keep your financial plan in check:
- Create a budget. The first steps to setting a budget are to identify income and all expenses. This interactive form can assist in compiling your budget details.
- Track your spending. Be sure to include all purchases so you can get a feel for where your funds are going.
- Compare spending against your budget and adjust accordingly. It may be necessary to make some modifications to your original holiday plans to stay within your budget. These can be hard decisions, but they can help you to reach longer-term financial goals. For an introduction to budgeting, explore the Budgeting 101 online course for consumers.