How to Build a Holiday Budget That Works Every Year

The holiday season rolls around at the same time each year, but unexpected expenses can catch you, and your wallet, off guard. Creating a holiday budget can help turn those surprises into anticipated costs. It can also give you a solid foundation from the start by saving you lots of time and stress — not to mention also preventing a debt hangover in the new year.

Holiday spending can quickly add up. Over the last five years, Americans have spent an average of $641 on holiday gifts, $224 on nongift items like food and decorations, and $139 on other nongift purchases, according to the National Retail Federation.

That’s about $1,000 on average for holiday-related purchases.

If you’re looking to save on holiday spending, here are some steps to build a holiday budget that works for you year after year.

Start planning early

Setting your priorities early can help ensure that necessary items in your everyday budget aren’t sacrificed.

“You can’t sacrifice your future financial…

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This article was written by Amanda Barroso and originally published on