University of FloridaSolutions for Your Life

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Publication #FAR9000

Budgeting for the Holidays1

Donna Davis and Josephine Turner2

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The holidays are traditionally a time to get together with friends and family and celebrate. With the excitement of the season, it's also a time when people overspend. Making a holiday budget beforehand can save you these financial worries.

Planning for the holidays can save you time, energy, and money according to Dr. Josephine Turner at the University of Florida. Begin by determining the amount of money you have to spend on the holidays and stick with that number. Next, make a list of holiday expenses to be paid, including gifts, travel expenses, extra food costs for entertaining and Christmas cards. And... don't forget the cost of stamps. If your expense column is greater than what you have to spend, try to prioritize and then make some changes to your budget.

A large portion of holiday spending is presents. To help budget for gifts, make a list of everyone you plan to give a present to and then write what you want to give them and what it will cost. Many people go over-budget on gift spending during the holidays. Some alternatives to bring your holiday budget back under control? Try making gifts such as food or furniture, a coupon book of services such as yard work or babysitting, or handing down family heirlooms. For more information on holiday budgeting or unique, inexpensive gift ideas, contact your county Extension office.

Listening, learning and living together, it's the science of life. "Family Album" is a co-production of University of Florida Extension, the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, and of WUFT-FM. If you'd like to learn more, please visit our website at

To listen to the radio broadcast:

Reference [12 September 2012].



This document is FAR9000, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Broadcast as program 038. Published June 2006. Revised September 2009. Reviewed January 2015. In the interest of time and/or clarity, the broadcast version of this script may have been modified. Visit the EDIS website at


Donna Davis, senior producer, Family Album Radio and Josephine Turner, professor, Family and Consumer Economics, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.