The holiday season is finally upon us. It’s time to think about setting up the decorations, starting to bake those yummy treats and spreading cheer through gifts to your loved ones. However, sometimes we spread a little too much cheer and in return give ourselves a lot of debt.
Check out the tips below to learn how you can celebrate the holidays without breaking the bank.
Make a budget and stick to it:
Create a list of everything you might need for the holidays by taking into account gifts, decorations, food, and don’t forget any other party and travel expenses. Categorize your list by using different colors to help determine the areas where you need to spend more money. Be sure to stick to your list to avoid adding last-minute impulse items.
Make a list and check it twice:
Think about all of your family members, friends, and coworkers. Write down their names and then look at your budget to determine who you can afford to buy for and where you need to trim. To help trim your list, adopt a Secret Santa tradition with your friends. For your boss, ask your coworkers if they would like to chip in and buy a group gift.
Start early and shop around:
Check local ads online and in the newspaper regularly. Sometimes online shopping has the best deals, but don’t forget to figure in shipping costs. To save on shipping, order early so that you don’t need to pay for express shipping. Think about unconventional gifts such as an experience like wine tasting, cooking lessons, skydiving or even babysitting. Other alternative gift ideas include offering your skills and talents. Examples are cooking, fixing something around their house, making tree ornaments or showcasing your own photography.
Starting to save throughout the year will help with year-end costs. Holiday spending is a recurring expense, so think about establishing a savings account dedicated to holiday costs. At Marine Bank, we offer a Holiday Savings Account. It only costs $1 to open and you can make deposits using coupon books or convenient automatic transfers to prepare for the holiday season. On the last business day of September, you can choose to receive a check or have your savings transferred to another Marine Bank Account. There are zero monthly fees and only a $1 minimum daily balance.
In the end, the holidays are all about enjoying time with your friends and family. Remember, if you plan for it, you won’t build debt by purchasing holiday expenses on your credit card. It’s a great feeling to head into the New Year on the right financial foot. Happy Holidays from all of us at Marine Bank!
Written By: Michelle Graven