Holidays are often an exciting time of the year. Spending time with family, enjoying time off work and celebrating with family traditions are all enjoyable activities. However, the holidays can also put an unwanted stress on your wallet.
It is hard to look forward to the holidays if you are worrying about how to pay for them. Have you stressed about how to provide a fun experience for children without breaking the bank? Decorations, gifts and food expenses add up quickly. Here are some tips to help you budget the holidays without breaking the bank.
1. Start saving early. If you set aside a certain dollar amount each month it will start to add up. This will help eliminate the last-minute panicking and trying to figure out where the funds for the holidays are going to come from. With Health Advantage Credit Union, you can open a Christmas Club Savings account, this is an account that you can deposit money in and to save specifically for the holidays. This will also help you see how much you have saved to spend and helps make creating and sticking to a holiday budget even easier. LEARN MORE
2. Make a list of everyone who will receive a gift and how much you plan on spending for each. Writing down everyone you plan on getting a gift for can help you remember those that are often forgotten and can add last minute expenses. Once you know how many people you plan on getting gifts for you can divide up part of your budget for each of them. Try talking to family members about setting a spending limit on each gift, making it fair for everyone and easy for you to budget.
3. Prepare a budget for food. Look back on years past and see how much you’ve typically spent on food. This will give you a good estimate of how much you should budget for. Talk to family members and coworkers to come up with a menu for holiday parties that way you can divide up who is bringing what and you can help figure in the cost for what to bring.
4. Determine how you will pay for each expense. Cash or Card? Often when paying with cash you are more reluctant to give it up versus if you pay with a card, which can lead to less spending. However, when using a card, you can also earn points and cash back through rewards programs. You can save even more when you use your Health Advantage CU Visa Platinum Rewards Card. With your Health Advantage CU Visa Platinum Rewards Card, you earn ScoreCard points for each dollar you spend. You can then use those ScoreCard points on rewards such as air travel, hotel stays, fuel discounts, brand name merchandise and more! You could even use your ScoreCard points to help cover some of the expenses you have during the holidays. Also, you want to keep in mind limitations you may have on cards such as a daily limit, credit limit and how much you have in your accounts.
5. Carry a copy of your budget with you. Don’t get off track with your budget because you forgot the amount you had budgeted! Keep a copy with you or even take a photo of your budget on your phone. This will be essential to sticking with your budget instead of guessing or trying to remember what you had planned out.
6. Plan your shopping trips ahead of time. Do you research to find out if you can condense shopping trips, which stores will have better pricing, and which have coupons. Don’t forget to check your mail for coupons or sales that will be going on. That way you can know not only where, but when to go out to do all your shopping.
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