University of Illinois Extension

Spend Smart, Save Smart Tips

Ten Tips for Holiday Spending

  • Review last year’s spending and decide if and where you can cut back this year.
  • Decide who should be included on this year’s gift list; consider drawing names instead of buying for everyone.
  • Set a price limit for gifts, holiday decorations and cards, clothing, food, gift wrapping, mailing, etc.
  • Develop a realistic spending plan, considering how much money is left after paying bills.
  • Stick to your plan by keeping track of spending, so you don’t exceed your budget.
  • Avoid using credit, as the bills will come due during the new year!
  • Consider sales and outlet, discount, and thrift stores.
  • Instead of buying gifts, give “gift certificates” for your time and talents.
  • Create your own decorations and greeting and gift cards.
  • Take advantage of after-holiday sales for next year.