Save the Stress – Plan for the Holidays
The holidays can put a financial burden even on the best shoppers and savers. As we approach the holiday season, it’s best to start and plan early to avoid the stress that comes with overspending. Here are some tips to help make the holidays a little less stressful:
- Set a budget
If you don’t already have a monthly budget for general expenses, take a moment to track your regular bills, so you aren’t missing any payments for essentials. These include mortgage, groceries, utilities, etc. Next, think about what else you may be spending on in the coming months. Are you hosting a party at your home, or traveling to visit family or friends? Estimate what those things will cost you. Once you’ve subtracted any expenses from your usual budget, you can think about how much you have left over to spend on gifts.
- Make a list
With all the excitement of the holidays, it can be easy to get carried away. Make a list of the gifts you need and cross them off as you go – it’s so satisfying and will keep you from purchasing items you don’t need or extras.
- Decide how you’re going to pay
Are you going to use cash or credit cards to pay for gifts? Credit cards can be an easier option, as some retailers may no longer accept cash – just don’t spend more than you can pay back. Be sure to check with your credit card provider to see if they may be offering a bonus for holiday shopping. This may be a rewards program that you could redeem for cash back or future travel!
- Track your holiday spending
Just like you wrote down your lists to keep track of what you need to buy, you could also keep track of what you’ve spent. Periodically check to see if you are on track and sticking to your budget.
UNCLE Credit Union offers a variety of personal loans and credit cards that may help you stay on track this holiday season. Learn more about special promotions and offers by visiting www.unclecu.org.