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Holiday spending and budgeting tips

7 ways to get the most out of your holiday spending

Updated on Nov. 15, 2023, at 3:35 p.m. CST

Holiday spending is well underway.

And shoppers plan to spend about $1,652 on gifts, food, decorations and other holiday-related purchases, according to the 2023 Deloitte Holiday Survey.

Here are a few ways to help you stretch your holiday dollars this season:

| 1 | Set a holiday spending budget—and stick to it

It probably won’t come as a surprise, but a budget is key to any successful holiday spending plan.

Look back at how much you’ve spent during the past few holiday seasons, and determine whether that amount is realistic and still fits into your overall budget. Make any necessary adjustments before you shop.

That doesn’t necessarily mean spending less, but being aware of what we’re spending and what we’re spending it on.

Download your holiday spending worksheet

Request a free Dupaco Money Makeover to help finetune your budget >

| 2 | Draw names instead of gifting to everyone

As you set your holiday spending budget, it’s also a good time to review your list of gift recipients. If you’re still buying for a long list of friends and relatives, consider a gift exchange with them instead.

A gift exchange allows you to spend a little more on the recipient—but still spend significantly less than you would if you were buying for several people.

| 3 | Don’t wait until the last minute

The holidays come the same time every year. Planning ahead for your holiday spending gives you the opportunity to bargain hunt and wait for the “deal of the day” so you can spend less for the same item.

There are deals to be had if you’re willing to watch for them and have the time to wait for items to ship.

| 4 | Take advantage of your rewards credit card

If you use a rewards credit card, you might be able to cash in on some rewards to defray your out-of-pocket expenses during this expensive time of year. Or, you’ll at least get rewarded later for making your purchases with that card.

With the Dupaco Rewards Visa, you earn and redeem points—1 point for every $1 spent—for merchandise, travel, gift cards and even cash back.

But before using a credit card, it’s important to know what type of spender you are.

If you know you have money in your checking account and you’re going to turn around and pay that credit card balance in full, you won’t get charged interest. But remember: The holidays can make people get a little excited and charge more than they intended to.

Coupon clip your way to saavings. Check for store or product coupons ahead of time to save major bucks.

| 5 | Sign up for emails from your favorite stores

You’ve probably been asked before whether you’d like to sign up for a store’s loyalty program or subscribe to receive store emails. While these messages have a way of clogging up your inbox, they can provide some great discounts and let you know when sales are happening—especially if you were planning to shop there anyway.

Tip: Hard work pays off when it comes to saving money. Do online searches for the best price and search for coupons from stores as well as from product companies.

Like your favorite brands on Facebook and follow merchants on Twitter. Many brands reward their loyal customers with exclusive offers, so you’ll stay up to date on contests and giveaways.

| 6 | Remember the spirit of the holidays

You don’t have to spend a lot to give back to your friends, family and community during this time of year. Spend time with each other, and give from the heart.

If you’re having a rough go with finances, you can still be thoughtful with your gifts and still give a great, thoughtful gift.

Maybe you give a small gift but package it with a heartfelt card. Or, give the gift of an experience. If your friend or relative has young children, you could offer to babysit so the parent can enjoy a kid-free night out.

Check out these four budget-friendly gift ideas from the heart >

| 7 | Save for holiday spending throughout the year

If you don’t have a Holiday Club account, now is a great time to open one for the next holiday season. You can set up automatic weekly or biweekly deposits to your account, and the balance will be automatically deposited into your checking or share savings account at the end of October.

This year, Dupaco members saved nearly $5.9 million through their Holiday Club accounts!

Join Dupaco's Holiday Club and save for the holidays all year.