Creating A Holiday Budget

Most business owners know that gifts, cards and a holiday celebration are part of end of year expenses. What is sometimes unanticipated is the other expenses that are part and parcel of the holiday season. Use the following list of expenses to accurately plan and budget for this year's holiday costs.


  • Purchasing stock cards — covers the cost of boxes of standard holiday cards

  • Designing and printing cards — if you intend to create customized holiday cards

  • Purchasing envelopes — eye–catching envelopes will help get your card noticed

  • Staff to organize/update address database for cards — ensures your contact list is up to date and properly formatted

  • Staff to sign and address cards — hand–addressed envelopes are more personal than using mailing labels

  • Postage — consider purchasing holiday stamps instead of using your postage meter

Corporate gifts

  • Staff to check addresses, gift policies — you may need to employ temps to update your database or investigate client gift policies

  • Cost of client gifts — covers the amount you intend to spend on all gifts for clients

  • Shopping costs — determine the cost of the time involved in purchasing gifts, or costs of using a shopping service

  • Purchasing boxes, gift wrap, ribbon, cards — budget for items necessary to wrap and present gifts

  • Staff to pack and ship — temps may be required to prepare gifts for shipping

  • Shipping — determine method of shipping, whether mail, overnight service, or courier

Office expenses

  • Christmas decorations — costs can range from simple lights and wreaths to more elaborate decorations

  • Other holiday decorations — also consider costs related to other seasonal holidays such as Chanukah

  • Candy or treats for office — for companies with waiting areas or other places where customers gather

  • Tips — determine number of people to be tipped, and amount for each

Holiday party costs

  • Purchasing invitations — if you intend to mail out invitations to clients, partners and others

  • Room rental — if event is to be held off–site

  • Catering — costs for food and drink

  • Entertainment — if you plan to hire a band, DJ, or other performers

  • Transportation and parking — car services, vans or taxis

  • Purchasing gifts — prices of party favors or other gifts for the event

  • Creating awards, gags, etc. — if you plan to recognize certain employees

  • Extra office cleaning — necessary if events are held on site

  • Security — to ensure the safety of attendees, if necessary

The previous content is provided by OPEN: The Small Business NetworkSM from American Express.


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