Holiday Spending Hacks
The holidays are right around the corner and are supposed to be a time of joy and celebration. However, many of us find them to be a time of high financial stress. How can you balance the need to give gifts to so many loved ones while not putting yourself into a financial bind? These tips may help you gain some control over your holiday spending.
Make a plan
Just because it's the holidays, it doesn't mean you need to spend on impulse. Start now by writing out your gift list and assigning dollar amounts. Have a maximum amount you think you can afford and dial that number back just a bit. Once you have your list and the number of dollars you're planning to spend on each recipient, add it all up. If it's too high, refine the dollar amounts on your list and recalculate. Repeat until you have landed in your spending comfort zone.
By starting well before Thanksgiving, you give yourself more options and the valuable advantage of time. You have more sales to choose from, and you have more time to shop.
Make gifts by hand
If you have more time than money this year, making handmade gifts is an ideal solution. Unlike most store-bought gifts, a handmade gift is frequently kept and treasured for a lifetime.
Cards are less expensive than gifts. Cheaper still, if you create them by hand and give them in person to people you regularly see, than spending money on postage.
Open a Christmas savings account
Back before nearly everyone had a credit card, people joined Christmas Clubs at credit unions. Their credit union would help them set aside money each month for 11 months. Then, at Christmas time, that money was available—with the dividends earned—for holiday spending.
These Christmas Clubs are still a traditional savings account at most credit unions, including Truity Credit Union. Starting a Christmas Club account is a great tip to keep in mind for 2019.