The holidays are coming up, and for many of us, that means extra spending and stretching the budget. If you’re looking to buy a home in the near future though, you don’t want to blow your down payment by overspending. Here’s some tips on how to keep it as stress-free as possible by setting a holiday budget and sticking to it.

Begin with a list of holiday expensesmonthly mortgage payments

Make a list of people you’re buying gifts for and other costs like decorations, travel, food, and lodging. Doing so will give you an idea of how much you should budget for. Now that you know where that money is going, you can balance it against how much you currently have available and how much can be used towards gift-giving.

Start saving early

When you put aside money each month to cover holiday expenses at the beginning of the year, you’ll find it less stressful. Start small and increase or decrease as needed. Many banks offer holiday savings accounts with automatic deposits and a specific disbursement date to receive that cash.

On that same note, you can also shop for gifts throughout the year! Doing so can be a great way to avoid spending a lot of money at once while saving you the stress of last-minute shopping.

Keep track of all purchases

Once you begin your holiday purchases, keep track of each purchase, subtracting the amount from your holiday expense budget. Taking advantage of holiday deals and shopping online can help you save.

Remember to keep bills paid on time

In the rush of the holidays, it can be easy to forget other important things like bills. Setting up automatic payments can help keep bills like your mortgage payment paid on time, and save your credit score from dipping during that time

Need a new home for next year’s festivities? Talk to a loan officer at about your home financing options.

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The above information is for educational purposes only. All information, loan programs and interest rates are subject to change without notice. All loans subject to underwriter approval. Terms and conditions apply. Always consult an accountant or tax advisor for full eligibility requirements on tax deduction.