With crowded stores and an ever-growing list of people to shop for, it’s easy to overspend during the holidays. No worries, though; our credit union, OE Federal, has some pre-and post-holiday tips to help you have yourself a jolly December without breaking the bank.
Revise your gift list. Chances are, lots of the people you exchange gifts with would be relieved to be taken off your list. Talk with others about just exchanging cards or make a deal to only exchange homemade or inexpensive gifts.
- Organize a Secret Santa. A Secret Santa activity saves money and stress while adding a bit of intrigue to any party. Everyone involved only needs to bring a single gift, and it’s always fun. Set a reasonable budget so everyone walks away with the same priced gift.
- Bake holiday treats. Reduce the financial weight of the season by whipping up your own holiday treats instead of buying gifts.
- Make a budget and stick to it. We all plan to stick to a budget this holiday season; make this the year it really happens. Set an absolute limit to how much you will spend on the holidays. This will encourage you to plan your spending rather than grabbing impulse items.
- Make use of holiday deals. Make use of holiday deals by buying items on your list at a discounted price – but don’t buy things you don’t need.
- Rethink giving. Think of other ways you can give that will make the world a better place and truly brighten someone’s holiday. It’s the perfect time of year to volunteer at local soup kitchens, homeless shelters and charity organizations.
Use those gift cards. Put your gift cards in your wallet and spend them creatively. For example, if you’re not a fan of on-the-go coffee, use your Starbucks gift card for coffee beans. Make sure to enjoy those gift cards!
- Re-gift. You might wind up with a bunch of gifts you don’t want. Hold onto them; many gifts can be re-gifted next year or used as birthday gifts throughout the year.