The holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year! But sometimes all the extra expenses can create extra stress. Is this your holiday season to create a plan and stick to a budget? You can with holiday spending tips from your Credit Union. Here’s how:
1. Start Planning Early
Review last year’s holiday spending and gift list to see where your budget was spent. Login to online banking to review purchases leading up to the holidays as a good starting place. When reviewing your spending, account for decorations, people you purchased gifts for, food expenses, charitable donations and any seasonal festivities you participated in. Look for trends and things you might want to consider doing differently this year as a baseline to get started with your planning and form your game plan.
2. Rethink Your List
Is your list of people to purchase gifts for long? If you feel pressure because you buy presents for every niece, cousin and uncle, revamp your giving strategy. Consider setting up an exchange with family or friends so that each person buys one gift with a set dollar limit. Chances are that most recipients would be happy with a single, higher-priced present instead of several cheaper ones.
3. Set and Know Your Limit
Pull out a specified amount of cash to buy gifts. Once the green is gone, you’re done. If you’re not comfortable with cash and carry, put the money on a pre-paid Visa Gift Card from your Credit Union to help you stick to your budget.
4. Find the Best Price
It’s easy to jump at the first discount price you see, but quick online searches for coupon codes can score you additional savings. Sometimes the perfect gift isn’t on sale at all. However, many stores offer price-match policies, so shop around and compare prices for the item you’re set on buying for your loved one.
5. Make Homemade Gifts
A homemade gift can be one of the most thoughtful ways to show someone you care. While this may not knock out your entire list, printed or framed photos for grandparents or sweet treats for your kids’ teachers are a great way to save money while sharing memories and saying happy holidays!
6. Enjoy the Season
Most importantly, the holidays are all about enjoying friends and family. Staying focused on time with loved ones, old and new traditions, and other joys of the season can help you keep stress in perspective.
Remember, if you’re looking at your budget and think there is no way you’ll be ready in time for the holidays, your Credit Union is here to help. From Holiday Loans to our APCO Visa Rewards Credit Card, we have options to help make your season bright. We can also help you set up a Christmas Club Account to start saving for next Christmas now!
The holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year, but all the extra expenses can add up and create extra stress. Check out these holiday spending tips from your Credit Union.
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