Thanksgiving on a Budget

November 20, 2023

As the autumn leaves blanket the ground and the aroma of roasted turkey fills the air, families across the country gather to celebrate Thanksgiving. And while this holiday is traditionally centered around gratitude and togetherness, it's also an opportune time to reflect on your financial well-being and make sure you’re not overspending on your festivities. Here are some tips to help you manage your spending this holiday.

Budgeting for the Feast:
Thanksgiving often involves a grand feast with family and friends. While it's tempting to go all out on extravagant meals and decorations, setting a budget can help you celebrate without breaking the bank. Plan your menu in advance, create a shopping list, and look for discounts or coupons to make the most of your budget. By being mindful of your spending, you can enjoy the holiday without the looming stress of overspending.

DIY Decorations and Host Gifts:
Expressing gratitude doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag. Consider incorporating do-it-yourself (DIY) decorations into your Thanksgiving celebration. Get creative with autumn leaves, candles, and simple centerpieces that won't strain your budget. If you're attending a gathering, bringing a homemade dish or a thoughtful, budget-friendly host gift can convey your appreciation without overspending.

Smart Shopping Strategies:
Black Friday and Cyber Monday follow closely on the heels of Thanksgiving, offering enticing deals for savvy shoppers. While it's tempting to indulge in the shopping frenzy, approach these sales with a clear plan. Identify the items you genuinely need or plan to gift during the upcoming holiday season. Stick to your list to avoid impulse purchases and the subsequent strain on your finances.

Gratitude on a Shoestring:
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the things we're grateful for, and often, these are not material possessions. Consider embracing the spirit of the season by incorporating low-cost or free activities into your celebration. Whether it's a family hike, a game night, or a potluck with friends, focusing on the shared experience rather than extravagant spending can deepen the meaning of the holiday. 

Financial Gratitude Journaling:
As you count your blessings this Thanksgiving, take a moment to reflect on your financial journey. Consider starting a gratitude journal specifically focused on your financial achievements, no matter how small. Acknowledging your progress and expressing gratitude for financial stability, career advancements, or even lessons learned during challenging times can foster a positive mindset and encourage responsible financial habits.


Thanksgiving is a time for reflection, gratitude, and the warmth of shared moments. By approaching the holiday season with financial mindfulness, you can savor the festivities without compromising your financial well-being. Embrace the spirit of gratitude not only for the tangible aspects of life, but also for the financial lessons that shape your journey toward a more secure future. As you gather around the table, let thankfulness be the centerpiece of your celebration, bringing joy and financial wisdom to your Thanksgiving feast.

Want more budgeting help? Utilize our Personal Finance tool to identify budget areas that need attention, plan for expenses like the holidays, and gift yourself peace of mind with your finances. We’re here to help!

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