Summer Planning for Holiday Spending

    3 minutes
    Learn what to focus on to beat the end-of-year financial stress

    Planning your holiday shopping during the summer gives you the opportunity to combat the seemingly unavoidable stress – financial or otherwise – many of us experience during the end of the year. While we might not be able to assist in the mental load of preparing for the holidays, we can certainly help you get ahead financially.

    Assess your holiday expenses
    Think about all the holiday-related items and activities you know you plan to spend money on. Here’s a list to get you started:


    • Gifts: Make a list of recipients with a limit on how much you want to spend. Don’t forget to include wrapping and gift tags if needed.
    • Meals: Do you plan on hosting any meals or contributing to meals hosted by others?
    • Decorations: Evaluate what you already have and decide on any additional purchases.
    • Holiday cards: Will you be purchasing cards or making custom ones? Are you taking family photos with new outfits? What about photographer, print and mailing costs?
    • Travel: Research transportation, lodging, food and other related expenses to consider.
    • Parties: Factor in costs for hosting or attending holiday gatherings. Don’t forget about Secret Santa and host gifts if those apply to your plans.
    • Appearance: New outfits, haircuts, manicures and pedicures are sometimes wanted for holiday activities.
    • Entertainment: Attending any holiday shows or programs?

    Determine how much you want to spend
    Once you’ve assessed where you want to spend your money, decide how much you want to spend in each category and determine if you’re able to do so with your current spending plan or if you will need to adjust.
    PRO TIP: After the holidays are over, note the amounts you actually spent in each category. This information will be helpful when planning next year’s holiday spending.

    Open a dedicated account
    Open a separate Share Savings account exclusively for holiday expenses for easier tracking and to prevent you from accidentally spending money elsewhere.

    Buy gradually and take advantage of summer sales
    Start purchasing holiday-related items incrementally throughout the year to break up spending. Keep an eye out for sales that start in the summertime like Fourth of July and Labor Day sales, Amazon Prime Day, Tax-free weekends or Back-to-School. Monitor travel deals as prices will fluctuate throughout the year.
    PRO TIP: Avoid purchasing airfare in July and November as those are typically the most expensive to book in.

    As always, we're here to help. Download our Holiday Spending Plan to get started now and visit your nearest Financial Health Center for personalized guidance.


    Holiday Spending Plan