Corporation Life

Tips and Tricks

How to Budget for the Holidays

The holiday season is right around the corner, and though it promises fun celebrations, it also promises lots of spending. It is easy to get stressed during this time, especially when finances are at stake. But worry not, accounting team members from throughout CPC have some tips to help budget your holiday spending.

“Create a Structured Investment Vehicle and issue short-term commercial paper taking advantage of credit market spreads. Aside from that, coming up with a total amount you want to spend for the holidays and then divvy up a per-person spending limit for gifts.  It’s harder to overspend if you have a plan (and stick to it).”
– Joe Alves, treasury and risk manager, Cal Poly Corporation

“I use an 8×10 paper calendar and list my bills and large purchases for each month. When I get to the holidays, I can take my monthly fixed bills plus look back on the year before and forecast what I might have to spend money on again this year (like kid’s winter camp fees or sports sign up fees, things that are annual), to see what I have left in budget for gifts/holiday meals/travel. And I take the concept of construction – it usually costs more than you think, so with gift giving, I take my max amount, subtract out a cushion, and that is my target. But I always go over target 😊, the cushion helps stops me from going overboard.”
 – Kristine Lemon, assistant director of finance, Campus Dining

“Don’t buy Christmas gifts for children under two years of age.  They won’t remember and will have more fun with a cardboard box by itself.”
– Matt Ryan, CPA, controller, Cal Poly Corporation