The holiday season is a time of joy and togetherness. The season can also be a financially stressful time for many individuals and families. Here are some budgeting strategies to help you navigate the holidays without breaking the bank.

1. Set a budget: create a clear and realistic budget based on how much you can afford to spend during the holidays.

2. Make a gift list: instead of going on an impulsive last-minute shopping spree, plan ahead! Create a list of all the people you’d like to give gifts to and set aside an amount to spend on them.

3. Give DIY a try: Consider making your own gifts and decorations. Handmade gifts carry a personal touch that store-bought items can’t beat. You can also give the gift of quality time or acts of service! Gift, your grandparents some quality time by spending the afternoon with them or give your sibling a hand cleaning out their garage.

4. Shop smart: Take advantage of holiday sales and discounts retailers have throughout the holiday season. Plus, keep a look out for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other holiday promotions that are opportunities to get great deals on gifts.

5. Avoid credit card debt: credit cards are convenient, but they can also accumulate charges quicker than you can pay them off. Avoid taking on debt by sticking to your predetermined budget and paying off your credit card bills promptly.

Managing your finances can be challenging, not just during the holiday season. Habitat U offers financial literacy courses to Habit homebuyers and the public to help them with budgeting, saving and understanding their credit report.

Visit Habitat’s U webpage to find class dates and to register.