Close spiff

Ready to see how much money you can save on your monthly mortgage payment?

A Resource For Home Buyers

We want to be a one-stop home buying resource for you, and one way we’re doing this, is by providing helpful tips and information about the mortgage industry, buying and selling your home – and many other useful topics that you’ll likely encounter on your path to home ownership. We’re confident that you’ll learn something new every time you visit this page.

Start budgeting now for holiday expenses

Start budgeting now for holiday expenses

There's a chill in the air, which means the holidays are right around the corner. This is a time of year that brings joy and good cheer, in addition to high credit card balances.

This year, start the holiday season out right: with a budget. A plan for how you'll spend money is one of the best defenses against overspending. Here's our four-step plan to keep your holiday spending in check:

Step 1: List out your expenses

To create a budget, you need to know what you'll be buying. Use this holiday expenses checklist as a starting point, and remove or add items as they pertain to your plans:

  • Gifts: List out everyone you need to buy a gift for.
  • Travel: Airfare and hotels are obvious additions, but don't forget about rental cars, gas and on-the-road meals.
  • Hosting: This includes the feast you plan to prepare, as well as seasonal decor.
  • Parties: You won't be the only one hosting, will you? Plan for potlucks and other holiday gatherings.
  • Charitable donations: It is the giving season, after all.

Step 2: Determine your spending limit

Next, determine how much you can afford to spend on the season as a whole. Evaluate your discretionary income, or the amount of money you have left over after you pay for monthly essentials like rent, utilities and groceries. Don't forget about expenses that come up this time of year that aren't monthly, such as your car registration.

Once you figure out how much you can feasibly save for the holidays, divide it out among the categories from the list you made in step one. You should think of these budgets as inflexible to prevent overspending - once that money is gone, it's gone.

Step 3: Map out a saving plan

Now that you know how much income from each paycheck you can allocate to holiday expenses, make an effort to transfer that money into a dedicated savings or checking account. You can also set up automatic transfers. When the budget is separated from your everyday checking account, it's harder to accidentally spend it on something else.

Step 4: Shop!

Do your best to find deals as you shop. This may involve scouring the weekly store ads for sales on roasts or hams, hunting down bargains on gifts or comparing flight costs. Remember, once the allocation for one of the holiday categories is gone, refrain from buying anything else in that category unless it's absolutely necessary.

To open a dedicated checking or savings account for your holiday budgets, contact The Federal Savings Bank.