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A Budgeting Guide to Maximize Your Joy

Published November 1, 2023 

The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and giving. However, it's also a time when expenses can quickly add up. To ensure that you can fully enjoy the holidays without straining your finances, creating a budget for your holiday shopping may help. In this blog, we'll walk you through the steps to budget effectively for your holiday expenses, researching for best deals, budgeting apps, and introduce a special offer from Neighborhood Credit Union that can help you make the most of this festive season.

Create a Shopping List

The first step in effective holiday budgeting is to create a comprehensive shopping list. Take some time to think about all the expenses associated with the holidays. This list could include:
  • Gifts: Make a list of all the people you plan to buy gifts for and brainstorm gift ideas for each person. Be sure to consider your budget when choosing gifts.
  • Decorations: If you like to decorate your home for the holidays, list the items you'll need, whether it's ornaments, lights, or a new tree.
  • Travel: If you'll be traveling during the holidays, factor in transportation costs, accommodation, and any related expenses.
  • Entertainment: Consider any holiday parties or gatherings you'll be hosting or attending. Factor in expenses for food, drinks, and entertainment.
  • Charitable Donations: If you plan to make charitable donations during the holidays, include them in your list.

Establish a Realistic Budget 

Set a total budget once you have a comprehensive list of your holiday spending. Be realistic about what you can afford and consider your financial situation carefully. Remember that overspending during the holidays can lead to financial stress in the new year.

Categorize Your Funds

Divide your total budget into categories based on your holiday expenses, allocating a specific amount to each category. For example, you might allocate a larger portion of your budget to gift buying and a smaller portion to decorations. For example: 
  • Gifts: If your total budget is $1,000 and you have 10 people on your gift list, you might allocate $50 per person for gifts, totaling $500.
  • Decorations: If you allocate $100 for decorations, you can use that money to purchase ornaments, lights, and other festive items.
  • Travel: If you've allocated $400 for travel, ensure that this covers transportation, accommodation, and any incidentals.

Research and Prioritize 

Now that you have allocated funds to each category, it's time to research prices and prioritize your spending. Shop early to avoid last-minute pressure and look for deals, discounts, and special offers to get the most value from your budget. Take advantage of price matching to find the best deals on gifts; many retailers offer this service, ensuring you get the lowest price available. You can also book flights and accommodations early to secure lower prices and take advantage of loyalty programs or travel rewards.

Track Your Spending 

As you start shopping, keep track of your expenses to ensure you stay within your budget. There are many budgeting apps and tools available that can help you track your spending in real-time. If you aren’t sure where to start, you can read this article from NerdWallet where they share the best budgeting apps of 2023. 

Neighborhood Credit Union Holiday Loan

To help you make your holiday budget go even further, Neighborhood Credit Union is offering a special promotion on personal loans. With a 1% discount on qualified personal loans for a 12-month term, you can access the funds you need to cover your holiday expenses without straining your budget.* This offer provides a fantastic opportunity to ensure that your holiday season is filled with joy and financial peace of mind. 

Whether you need extra funds for gift buying, holiday travel, or home decorations, our personal loan special can help you make the most of your holidays without sacrificing your financial stability. You can apply for our Holiday Personal online in under 10 minutes or contact our team to learn more and apply for this limited-time offer. 


By creating a well-thought-out budget for your holiday shopping and taking advantage of Neighborhood Credit Union's special personal loan offer, you can enjoy a stress-free and financially responsible holiday season. Remember, the true spirit of the holidays lies in the love and joy you share with your loved ones, and a well-managed budget can help you focus on what truly matters. Happy budgeting and happy holidays! 
Girl smiling at camera
Skyler has been a Marketing Content Specialist at Neighborhood Credit Union since 2019. 

Who We Are 

As an active part of the community for 93 years, Neighborhood Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial organization serving the state of Texas with branch locations in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, and Tarrant counties. With assets topping $1 billion, Neighborhood Credit Union has a continuously growing membership of over 60,000. For more information, call (214) 748-9393 or visit our homepage


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