Holiday Spending Reminder

computer, phone, pen and paper on a desk surrounded by blue and white snowflakes and holiday ornaments.

Published October 18, 2023

“We ask you to make your holiday plans with an eye toward safety and mindful spending. ”
Laura Hubbard, Vice President for Finance and Administration

The holidays are often a time to celebrate our accomplishments or express gratitude to those who have helped us throughout the previous year. While careful use of UB’s resources is always on our minds, as the 2023 holidays approach, we ask you to make your holiday plans with an eye toward safety and mindful spending.


Remember that all expenses must be reasonable and appropriate and comply with the Allowable Use of Funds policy.

Holiday Parties

Holiday parties cannot be paid for with state and RF funds. If using UBF funds, the costs should be modest and reasonable. Costs would be restricted to per diem rates on General Services Administration (GSA) website: $16 for breakfast, $17 for lunch and $31 for dinner. The per diem rate maximum includes food, alcohol, gratuity and delivery.


It is a common holiday custom to express appreciation through gift-giving; however, holiday gifts may not be purchased with state or RF funds. UBF funds may be used for items sent to donors. Costs should be modest and reasonable.

Greeting Cards

State and RF funds cannot be used to purchase holiday cards. UBF funds can be used only if the cards are being sent to individuals or entities external to UB, who have a business relationship to the university, including donors and prospective donors. Consider using e-cards as a way to promote the university’s sustainability efforts as well as reduce costs. 

Accepting Gifts From Vendors

As stewards of a public institution, it is inappropriate to accept a vendor’s personal gifts or gratuities.

Personal Mail and Shipments

Being responsible stewards of UB resources extends not only to money and things but also to the efforts of our colleagues. Each day, our colleagues in Campus Mail are responsible for routing an enormous volume of incoming deliveries. This volume only grows around the holidays. Please remember that personal shipments (e.g., personal holiday gifts purchased through Amazon) may not be shipped to work addresses via the United States Postal Services (USPS). UPS and Federal Express shipments are allowed only if mailed directly to an individual in a department and not to UB’s Campus Mail department.


Contact the appropriate business office with questions about allowable and appropriate expenditures.