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It may seem like ages away, but the most wonderful time of the year will be here before you know it! And, though the holidays may look a little different this year, you may still be shopping for and spending on that perfect gift. To help de-stress your holiday season financially, try following these tips before the rush begins:

Set a Budget and Start a Savings Routine

To keep your holiday spending affordable, it helps to set a spending budget. Consider who will need gifts and how much you’d like to spend per person. 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. With this plan in mind, you might consider opening a savings account entirely dedicated to your holiday budget to help you stay on track and avoid dipping into any other savings. If you start saving months ahead of the holiday, you can also take advantage of a higher savings rate by placing the money in a short-term certificate, such as a Navy Federal SaveFirst Account.

Track Gift Spending

Stick to your budget by tracking spending as you buy each gift. Try inserting the purchase prices into a spreadsheet that automatically adds up your purchases so you always have an idea of your remaining budget.

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, or use cash back to help pay for the cost of your gifts. To help avoid the temptation of overspending with your credit card, try to choose a card that rewards you for making purchases.

Shop End-of-Summer Sales

If traditionally seasonal items like patio furniture, swimsuits or bicycles are on your gift list, you may be able to get a good price by shopping well ahead of the holidays during end-of-summer sales. It’s also wise to keep an eye on electronics that are expected to have a new model released before the year is over as older ones tend to be discounted right before new ones arrive on shelves.

Get Crafty With Homemade Gifts

If you’re handy with a sewing machine or simply know your way around Pinterest®, you may be able to save big by making your gifts at home. Many people avoid making their own gifts because of the time it takes, but if you start now, you can get a head start on the holiday season.

Be in Control of Your Finances

This holiday season and always, rest assured that whatever life throws at you, Navy Federal Credit Union is here to support you. Discover financial insights, advice and resources on our Financial Wellness Resources page.

This article 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.