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Bottom Line Up Front

  • Don’t let holiday spending spiral out of control. Keep careful track of everything you spend on gifts, decorations, travel and meals, so you’re aware of how it’s all adding up. 
  • It’s always better to plan ahead. Last-minute travel is more expensive than booking in advance. Shop early sales as hot-ticket items often peak in price or are sold out right before the holidays.

Time to Read

3 minutes

November 7, 2022

The most wonderful time of year will be upon us before we know it. At Navy Federal Credit Union, we want to help you spread some holiday cheer with budgeting tips that you can make good use of this season. So, before the holiday decorations go up and the holiday parties begin, let us help you manage the last-minute financial stress of the holidays with a few expert tips.

  • Set a Budget and Start a Savings Routine. To keep your holiday spending affordable, it helps to set a spending budget. Consider the scale of gift-giving you’re prepared to do and how much you’d like to spend on your loved ones. You can calculate the amount by determining how much disposable income you have in your everyday budget and setting aside a portion of that money each month leading up to the holidays.

    With this plan in mind, you might consider opening a separate bank account, such as a savings account, dedicated entirely to your holiday budget to help you stay on track with your holiday expenses.
  • Shop Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. If you love a good bargain (and who doesn’t?), shop at retailers that will be slashing prices with their annual Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Black Friday is the Friday immediately after Thanksgiving. It’s the official start of the holiday shopping season. Cyber Monday is a purely online affair and always takes place the Monday immediately after Thanksgiving.

    If you want to make the most of these 2 days, prepare a gift list of items you want to buy for your friends, family members and co-workers, and where you want to buy them. Set a spending limit and stick to it. The last thing you want to do is catch a sale but give yourself holiday debt to deal with later, so remember to keep track of your holiday gift spending.
  • Utilize Rewards Points. Have a rewards credit card? Start stockpiling your points or cash-back rewards now. Then, use your rewards points to buy gifts or gift cards directly through Navy Federal’s Member Deals, or use cash back to cover some or all of the costs of your gifts. To help you stretch your money even further (and avoid overspending with your credit card), choose a card that rewards you for making purchases.
  • Stick to Your Budget With a Prepaid Card. A great way to stay within your budget while shopping this season is to use a prepaid card. With Navy Federal’s GO Prepaid card, you can track your purchases and load up your card for all your shopping needs, online and through the GO Prepaid Mobile App. Plus, you can add up to 5 cardholders with their own separate funds so you can budget for yourself and your family all season long.
  • Shop End-of-Summer Sales. If traditionally seasonal items like patio furniture, swimsuits or bicycles are on your gift shopping list, you may be able to get a good price by checking the end-of-summer sales for your holiday shopping. Even if it’s last year’s bicycle, it’ll still make a great gift this year.
  • Get Crafty With Homemade Gifts. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, know how to use a jigsaw or have a few great hacks up your sleeve, you can save money by making your gifts at home. Start early and get ahead of the holiday season. Just don’t forget the wrapping paper!

Next Steps Next Steps

  1. Check out our convenient Monthly Spending Calculator to help you manage your money. 
  2. Navy Federal offers personalized financial guidance to members to help you identify your goals and develop a roadmap for reaching them.


This content is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.