Start Preparing for Christmas Now

Christmas is by far the most expensive time of the year for most families. From holiday shopping for gifts, to travel, to decorations and meals – the expenses add up. Instead of financing Christmas on credit cards, there are some things you can do to start preparing for Christmas now which will alleviate the after-holiday…
Advertising Disclosure.

Advertiser Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone. This article may contain links from our advertisers. For more information, please see our Advertising Policy.

The Military Wallet has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. The Military Wallet and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on The Military Wallet are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear, but does not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations. The Military Wallet does not include all card companies or all available card offers.

Christmas is by far the most expensive time of the year for most families. From holiday shopping for gifts, to travel, to decorations and meals – the expenses add up. Instead of financing Christmas on credit cards, there are some things you can do to start preparing for Christmas now which will alleviate the after-holiday remorse.

Create a Christmas Holiday Budget

One of the best ways to prepare for the Holidays is to create a Christmas budget. Creating and sticking to a budget makes it easier to ensure you have enough money to cover your gift, travel and other holiday expenses. Whether you make homemade Christmas gifts or buy gifts from the store, creating a Christmas budget also takes much of the guesswork out of the holiday season and helps you avoid sticker shock in January.

Open a Christmas Club or Special Savings Account

Many banks offer a Christmas Club or special savings account specific for holiday savings. These accounts work like a personal accrual account. You can contribute to it all year consistently and when it’s time to start your holiday shopping, withdraw the funds.

How to make it easier. The average family spends more than $600 a year on Christmas – if this is the amount you need, start saving in December or January for the following Christmas and you’ll only need to set aside $50 a month or about $12.50 per week to reach the goal. The best way to save is to have the money transferred automatically from your check or checking account into the savings account used only for your holiday funds.

You can also set up a savings goal with the popular – a goal-oriented, online savings account. The money is automatically deducted from your checking or savings account at the frequency you choose. When you’re ready to pull the money out for holiday shopping, you have the choice of having the money deposited back into your bank account, or getting the money on gift cards. If you choose gift cards, you’ll also get a bonus which gives you a little extra money to spend.

Consider Using Layaway

Another method many people use to reduce the effect Christmas has on their budget is to begin shopping in August or September and use layaway programs. Layaway allows you to select all of your purchases and place them on hold in the store. You’ll need to make a small deposit to hold the items (usually around 5% of the entire cost of your purchases), and then schedule weekly payments until it is paid in full. Once you’ve paid off your purchases, you can bring them home. The fees paid for layaway is almost always less than what you would pay to put the same items on a credit card (unless you paid your credit card in full before interest started accruing).

Layaway programs are also available online, through services like, and feature a wide variety of retailers who participate in online layaway. Make your selections and save them in your online shopping cart, make your deposit and schedule your payments and your items will ship once you’ve paid in full.

Travel Preparations

If you travel to visit family over the holiday season, begin your search for discounted tickets well in advance. You can sign up for email notifications when prices drop below a specified point, to help you find the best time to buy tickets.

Sometimes traveling before or after the actual holiday will save you money over dates when everyone else is traveling. Consider celebrating the holiday with family from afar just before the Thanksgiving and Christmas travel prices hit, or after the new year, when the holiday prices have dropped.

About Post Author

Get Instant Access
FREE Weekly Updates! Enter your information to join our mailing list.

Posted In:

Reader Interactions

Leave A Comment:


About the comments on this site:

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

The Military Wallet is a property of Three Creeks Media. Neither The Military Wallet nor Three Creeks Media are associated with or endorsed by the U.S. Departments of Defense or Veterans Affairs. The content on The Military Wallet is produced by Three Creeks Media, its partners, affiliates and contractors, any opinions or statements on The Military Wallet should not be attributed to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the Dept. of Defense or any governmental entity. If you have questions about Veteran programs offered through or by the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, please visit their website at The content offered on The Military Wallet is for general informational purposes only and may not be relevant to any consumer’s specific situation, this content should not be construed as legal or financial advice. If you have questions of a specific nature consider consulting a financial professional, accountant or attorney to discuss. References to third-party products, rates and offers may change without notice.

Advertising Notice: The Military Wallet and Three Creeks Media, its parent and affiliate companies, may receive compensation through advertising placements on The Military Wallet; For any rankings or lists on this site, The Military Wallet may receive compensation from the companies being ranked and this compensation may affect how, where and in what order products and companies appear in the rankings and lists. If a ranking or list has a company noted to be a “partner” the indicated company is a corporate affiliate of The Military Wallet. No tables, rankings or lists are fully comprehensive and do not include all companies or available products.

Editorial Disclosure: Editorial content on The Military Wallet may include opinions. Any opinions are those of the author alone, and not those of an advertiser to the site nor of  The Military Wallet.