Personal Resource Center

How to Budget for Holiday Spending

pen icon
Sign up for your favorite retailers' newsletters to find out about exclusive sales and promotions. Once the holidays are over, you can unsubscribe.

4. Learn to be a savvy shopper

One of the best ways to save money on holiday shopping is doing it online — and using technology to your advantage. But you don't need to be a tech genius to score extra savings:

  • Sign up for promotional emails. One way to find out about exclusive sales and promotions is to sign up for your favorite retailers' newsletters. Once the holidays are over, you can unsubscribe — and remove the temptation to keep jumping on sales throughout the year.
  • Add a coupon aggregator to your browser. Instead of scouring the web for coupons — and potentially missing out on hard-to-find codes — install a browser extension3 that does the work for you, like Honey.
  • Sign up for cashback sites: In addition to using a rewards card, you can double-up on earnings by signing up for a cashback app4 or site such as Shopkick, Rakuten, or Ibotta. These companies pay you cash for shopping at certain retailers, no strings attached.

5. Setup account alerts

During the excitement and rush of the holidays, it can be easy to lose track of your spending or forget to check in on your accounts. Fortunately, you can set up low-balance alerts and get a heads-up from your bank if your account balance drops below a certain threshold. This can give you a chance to stop swiping and transfer funds to avoid pricey overdraft fees that eat into your holiday budget.

The holidays can be a stressful time, especially if you overspend and end up with a lot of debt to pay off in the new year. But it doesn't have to be that way. By making a plan ahead of time and starting a savings fund now, you can spend less time worrying about your finances and more time soaking up that holiday cheer.

Important disclosure information

This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

  1. National Retail Federation (NRF), "NRF says 2020 holiday sales grew 8.3 percent despite pandemic," published January 15, 2021, accessed July 30, 2021. Back
  2. Julia Waldow, ModernRetail "Holiday Sales Edged Higher in 2022," ModernRetail, published January 5, 2023, accessed November 2, 2023. Back
  3. Adam Oram, Zachary McAuliffe, Alexandra Garrett, Alison DeNisco Rayome, CNET "These Browser Extensions and Apps Can Save You Money When Shopping Online," CNET, published September 30, 2023, accessed November 2, 2023. Back
  4. Natasha Etzel, "Best Cash Back Apps for 2021," The Ascent by Motley Fool, published April 19, 2023, accessed October 11, 2023. Back