5 Holiday Expenses You Need to Start Saving for ASAP

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.


  • There are a host of extra expenses that may come up during the holiday season.
  • The sooner you start setting money aside for them, the less likely you'll be to end up with holiday debt.
  • Start saving money for gifts, holiday travel, entertaining costs, and to take time off work. 

Don't let the holidays drive you into debt.

At this point, we're clearly much closer to Halloween than any of the year-end holidays. But while Halloween can be expensive in its own right (think complicated costumes with added accessories, inflatable ghosts on your front lawn, and enough candy to feed all the kids in the neighborhood), its cost might pale in comparison to what you end up spending in December.

That's why now's a good time to start setting money aside for the holidays. The last thing you want to do is close out the year with a giant credit card balance and get stuck carrying it into 2023. 

But if you're going to make an effort to save up for the holidays ahead of time, then you'll need to get a handle on the different costs you might incur. Here are some to keep on your radar.

1. Gifts

Giving holiday gifts may be more than just an obligation -- it might actually bring you joy. But this year, everything from toys to apparel to electronics is more expensive than usual thanks to our good friend inflation. And while there's a good chance retailers will run different sales between now and late December, you might still end up spending more than you bargained for. 

2. Travel

Have loved ones who live out of town? You might spend a lot of money to spend the holidays with them. Flights and lodging tend to be more expensive during the holidays, and if you don't have much flexibility as to when you fly out, you could end up paying a small fortune.

3. Decorations

Holiday decorations are one of those things some people can take or leave. But if you're in the former camp and love adorning your home with lights, you might spend more to not just procure those lights, but keep them on. Energy costs are up these days (sort of like everything else), so you may find that your utility bills soar in December.

4. Food and parties

Love to host during the holidays? Lovely as that is, your costs could really add up. This especially holds right now given that food prices are up on a national scale. Plus, unless you're willing to do a lot of cooking, hosting guests for the holidays could mean enlisting the help of a catering service. That's another expense you'll need to save for.

5. Time off from work

If you're self-employed, you're generally not eligible for paid time off. And so if you need to skip work for a number of days to celebrate the holidays, it could result in a lower paycheck -- all the more reason to start saving now. 

It's not so easy to focus on the holidays when the weather's still somewhat warm and fall is only just kicking into gear. But it pays to set money aside for these specific expenses so they don't catch you off guard -- and lead you to close out the year with a pile of credit card debt.

Alert: our top-rated cash back card now has 0% intro APR until 2025

This credit card is not just good – it’s so exceptional that our experts use it personally. It features a lengthy 0% intro APR period, a cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee! Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.

Our Research Expert

Related Articles

View All Articles Learn More Link Arrow