6 Ways to Budget for the Holidays ~ #NFPartner #ProudToServe



How is it that a single month can set us back so far from our financial goals? Often after the holidays, we’re left paying off credit card debt well into the New Year. That’s a fresh start alright! Sure, we all have 11 months to save and prepare for the holiday season, but somehow life gets in the way. Then before you know it, December arrives and our best laid plans fly out the window! So how can we enjoy the season without regret come January? Here are 6 ways to budget for the holidays.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Navy Federal Credit Union. All opinions are 100% mine.



1. Trim down and assess your shopping list. 
Do you really need to buy a gift for that friend you see once a year? Would a card suffice? Are there others on the list that would enjoy the gift of baked goods, homemade items, photos, or even childcare just as much as a store-bought gift? It’s easy to get caught up in the gift-buying frenzy of the holidays, so before you even set foot in a store, create a well-planned list of recipients and a maximum amount you can spend on each, then stick to it!

2. Think twice before mailing. 
Shipping costs can be outrageous these days and you can easily spend more on postage than the actual contents of the package cost you! As impersonal as gift cards may be, consider sending them to loved ones that live at a distance. Another option is to shop online and have the item shipped directly to him or her. You can acquire prepaid Visa Gift Cards at Navy Federal for the holidays. They're customizable and also safer than cash since they can be replaced if lost or stolen.

3. Cut out usual indulgences this month. 
You can find money you didn’t even know you had with a few minor sacrifices. Do you pay for any subscription or membership services throughout the year that you could temporarily pause for the month of December? Are there everyday luxuries you could cut out of your life this month (like dining out or getting coffee at your favorite barista)? This might even expand to selling a few things on eBay or having a garage sale. Before you know it, you’re actually making extra money this month!


4. Wear what you have. 
With so many holiday parties, it’s tempting to go out and buy festive new clothes…that you’ll only wear once or twice! Can you swap with a friend or buy from a secondhand store? How about using a service like Rent the Runway? There are plenty of ways to repurpose clothes without having to splurge on new ones at such an expensive time of the year.

5. Skip expensive recipes. 
Some recipes call for specific ingredients that cost a lot but are rarely used. If you’re going to bake cookies, for example, just say no to batches that require pistachios or expensive extracts, unless it’s the only thing you’re going to bake all season! Remind yourself that you can actually make many of the dishes and treats you consider to be “holiday” recipes at other times of the year. That expensive batch of cookies might be the perfect thing to make for a bridal shower in the spring!

6. Keep parties to a minimum. 
Spreading yourself too thin is not only bad for your budget, but bad for your immune system, too. Choose a few quality events or parties to go to, and politely decline the rest. If you’re looking for things to do with your kids, there are plenty of free and inexpensive options. Head to your local library for a list of community events that will be just as fun as the $30 breakfasts with Santa.


Still unsure on how to budget for the holidays? Think about setting up a savings account account which will enable you to save up for your holiday spending. You can open an account in January, then save throughout the year for the next holiday season! Navy Federal Credit Union offers tips on creating a budget that will guide you through the holiday season and beyond.

Why choose Navy Federal?
Because they care! They understand your needs because they've been serving the armed forces and their families for more than 80 years. They're member-owned, and promise to always act in your best interest. Switch your accounts to Navy Federal today to start experiencing all the benefits of membership.

How do you budget your holiday spending?


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31 comments

  1. It is so true that December creeps up on us before we know it. I start saving in January for xmas. I start a Jar and at the end of each week I throw my change into it. It adds up quickly. I also make it a point to put anywhere from 5 to 20 dollars in my savings account, and I start Christmas shopping as early as July, we only buy for our children, we make a handmade gift for the grandparents and offer baked goods as gifts. These are all great tips you have listed.

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  2. As ladies, we're very tempted to buy an outfit for an occasion, as you stated. That can be pricey, and I like the idea of borrowing an outfit, or renting one.

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  3. This is a great list but the reality is that it is not fun to budget anytime but especially around the holidays. I will try and follow a few of these, to save money too.

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  4. What great advice and definitely needed to read this as it has been a rough month with spending a bit more with the holidays. So do appreciate the tips on how to budget better.

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  5. I love these tips! It's so easy to get into the holiday rush and spend frivilously. You're right- a card WOULD suffice and ringing in the New Year in debt is not a fresh start. Choosing the right bank is important, too- and I like Navy Federal. When we were in the military, they paid us when the government wouldn't and my husband was deployed. Great company, great customer service, and fair rates!

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  6. These are great tips. I love credit unions but I don't think I ever heard of Navy Federal. I'll have to see if they're near me.

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  7. These are all great tips. My wife has several friends who do a "dress swap" every year, in order to save some money. I have heard of Navy Federal, and that it's well respected.

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  8. I love these ideas! I've never thought about renting or borrowing an outfit before. That's so much better than paying for something you might only wear once or twice.

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  9. I love this, I just had to share. Budgeting should always happen, even if you have the cash to spend.

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  10. It's so true! Before you blink an eye it seems December is here and your credit cards are on fire. Great tips for better budgets.

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  11. I love your tips! I really struggle with this because I want to buy everything!

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  12. These are awesome ideas! I might look into renting a dress this year, and take a break from dress swapping with my friends!

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  13. These are all great ideas to stay on track with the budget during the holiday season. I especially the like the clothing swap with friends. It would be a great idea to start saving in January to get ahead of the game for next year!

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  14. I love these awesome ideas! I could look into renting a dress this year. Dress swapping with my friends? Why didn't I think of that!

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  15. With 6 kids, we have to keep a budget in mind. What we do is create a spreadsheet of how much we've spent and what we purchased for each person on our holiday shopping list. These are some great tips as well!

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  16. I try to save money throughout the last few months of the year specifically for gifts. My family also teams up to buy gifts for each, nieces/nephew, etc. This definitely helps. I don't typically buy new outfits for parties either and if I know I want one I will ask for it as a gift.

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  17. A goal of mine is to budget better and be much more intentional about spending in teh new year. A bit of time researching can really help me save in the long run. Your tips are great!

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  18. These are good ways to keep your finances in order! I wouldn't mind saving some money this month.

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  19. I think it is so important to wear what you have! Definitely a money saver. I used to buy an new outfit then think I needed new shoes then a sweater to go over it. Now, I just make an outfit from what I have!

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  20. You're absolutely right and it can get out of hand so fast, you won't even realize you're out of budget. I think it's really important that you check your expenses and make sure that you're not overdoing anything, regardless if it's not Christmas. Sticking to your allotted budget is always the best way to go. I also don't shop much for clothes anymore!

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  21. I like the idea of buying online and having the gift sent directly to the recipient. I just paid a ton in shipping charges but could have saved time and money having the company ship direct. I also think online gift cards are a great option and just sent some to family members that live across the country.

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  22. Great tips-- it's easy to BLOW your budget and all of your money during December. Especially for us since we have four important birthdays during this month. Thanks for the tips- I like the idea of sending a gift card vs a gift to save on shipping!

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  23. Thank you so much for this! I am always stressing about my budget this time of year.

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  24. These are such great tips for saving money during the holidays. I especially love the skipping the experience recipes!

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  25. These are great tips! This month I have definitely cut back on grabbing coffee out and buying unnecessary items. I made a list, and have been pretty good with sticking to it. It's definitely a month that is expensive enough without adding expenses that you really don't need.

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  26. Totally agree with these tips especially the wear what you have and cutting down indulgences. It's better to prepare everything beforehand like the money for buying certain gifts.

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  27. Great tips I find budgeting for the holidays the only way to go! With so many kids it’s a must. I sat down early figured out how much I wanted to spend and stuck to it! - Jeanine

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  28. Great tips! I also love that you told us about Navy Federal. I will definitely share this with my husband's nephew. He served in the military and is now retired. This would help him save up for next Christmas!

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  29. These are some great tips. I was just thinking about what outfits I was going to buy, when I remembered I only for last year's once.

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  30. These are some great tips. I am always looking for ways to cut down on spending while still giving great gifts.

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  31. This are all great tips... I have to work on cutting out impulsive spending. I do budget but still I tend to spend my stipend pretty quickly.

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