Budgeting for the Holidays – Get Started Early


Summer is officially over and we’re well into fall, and every year it feels like the Christmas season is approaching faster and faster with not much time to plan for it, especially financially. Whether it’s buying presents for friends and family, taking trips for Thanksgiving or Christmas Day, planning a big meal or party, or all of the above, the holiday season can be financially taxing for anyone.


Instead of scrambling in late November to purchase everything you need without breaking your budget, why not start planning now? Here are a few tips on how to best save early for the holiday season.


  • First and foremost, take a good look at your finances. This is the first and easiest step you’ll take in the savings process. Unless you’re expecting some sort of financial windfall, such as a substantial holiday bonus, it’s important to set aside money every week to ensure you won’t fall short come December. Put together a budget also that accounts for your current bills and weekly expenditures, and also take into account what you spent the previous year on gifts, travel, and food.


  • Set up a savings account. To ensure what you’re saving every week is somewhere secure, open a savings account for your holiday money. If you already have one of Polam’s Vantage Savings accounts, you can use that to transfer funds from your checking account every week. If you don’t have one of our savings accounts, visit one of our branches and we’ll get you started. Once you’ve got your savings account set up, you can schedule transfers so you don’t even have to think about it.


  • Stay focused and start early. Once you have an idea of your budget, start scoping out gift ideas and deals, and start stocking up on non-perishable groceries for your holiday dinners so you don’t have to buy everything at once during the shopping rush. Freezing extra spending over the next few months can prevent coming up short, cutting out things like dining out or date nights. Also, definitely take advantage of the UChoose Rewards points you earn with the transactions you make every day toward gift cards from major retailers.