For many folks, overspending during the holidays is as much of a tradition as gift giving and special meals! Fortunately, your credit union is here to share tips to help you avoid this unpleasant seasonal side effect.
Identify seasonal expenses and make a shopping list: Make a list of all holiday activities (including meals), gifts and wrapping materials, cards, decorations, travel expenses, etc. It can help to review your spending history from previous years between October through December as a reminder of common expenses.
Create a budget: Add up the list of seasonal expenses and develop a broken down budget to determine how much you will spend in each category.
Save and shop early: Rather than waiting until late November or December to think about holiday spending, determine how much you need to save each month to meet your holiday budget comfortably. Additionally, by planning ahead, you can avoid high shipping costs related to last-minute shopping.
Consider other options to meet your budget: If your projected budget exceeds the funds you will have available, consider bringing in additional income by taking on a seasonal job or selling items you no longer use. Applying for Skip-A-Pay on an applicable loan is another way to free up some funds.
Take advantage of sales: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other seasonal sales provide great opportunities to save. Be sure to review sales, compare prices, and have a plan ahead of time to maximize opportunities to save. If funds are not available during this time, our Black Friday/Cyber Monday Loan can help you secure items when they are on sale.
Look for coupons and deals: Retailers are especially motivated during the holiday season to earn your business. Be sure to check for discount codes, free shipping, and other coupons that may be available.