- Budget, budget, budget. Before you map out your shopping route, grab a pen and paper, make yourself a cup of hot cocoa, and create a list of all the people you need to purchase a gift for. Once you make your list and check it twice, set a dollar amount for each person. Plan not to spend more than this amount. Extra credit: Write down some gift ideas for people on your list!
- Before braving the holiday crowds, do your research. Track down the Sunday paper and check out what’s on sale at your favorite shopping spot. Score some coupons using mobile apps like “RetailMeNot”, “Flipp”, and Target’s new “Cartwheel” app. Since we live in the Digital Age, take advantage of websites that price compare for you. Before you purchase something online, check out FreeShipping.Org and make sure you grab a free shipping code if it’s available! If possible, start your shopping early, saving it for the last minute tends to be an expensive and stressful adventure.
- Use cash! Prepare for your on-foot shopping adventure by making your first stop at your financial institution. Take out your total budgeted amount and keep it separate from other spending money. Taking this precaution will lessen the chances of you overspending. U.S. Eagle is offering an Instant Holiday Loan through the end of December. We can deposit the cash right in your account. No need to worry about overspending!
- Didn’t save for the holidays? Use plastic. I may be able to recommend one of the best credit cards around…U.S. Eagle has some of the lowest rates in the state! If you choose to go this route, make sure you don’t overspend. You’re more likely to spend more using a credit card instead of cash. Another tip, Skip-A-Pay at U.S. Eagle will give you some spending leeway this holiday season.
- If you’re extra tight on money this holiday season, DIY projects are usually inexpensive and allow you to be creative. You can also create in bulk. Sugar scrubs, homemade cookies, coupon books, candles, ceramic tile coasters, embroidered handkerchiefs, or hand designed mugs are a few gift ideas that are affordable, easy-to-do, and personable for this holiday season. Pinterest or a simple Google search will give you endless DIY ideas!
- If you plan on purchasing lots of gift cards, take advantage of e-cards. A lot of retailers offer gift cards you can purchase online and send to someone via email for little to no cost! Use GrannyGiftCard.com to purchase gift cards at a discounted price. Personalization of your gift card is usually available on websites as well.
- If you’re a super shopper, plan on taking full advantage of offers on dreaded Black Friday and anticipated Cyber Monday. Prep yourself ahead of time, find the best discounts, map out shops in the city, and do your research. Beware – some of these “deals” are no better than shopping on a Tuesday or Sunday!
- If you’re worried about your bank account with the holidays approaching, find areas you can cut back. Driving past Starbucks instead of going to the drive-thru twice a week will save you around $40 per month. Making your lunches at home instead of dining out and ordering water when you do dine out, will help save you some money too.
- Enjoy free activities around town. If you’re short on money this holiday season, check out Christmas light displays with your loved ones. Pack up your family in the car, put some delicious hot chocolate in a jug, and see beautiful light displays. Some other ways you can afford holiday cheer are: gathering your friends and family for a Christmas caroling journey, volunteering at local shelters and charities, or hosting a Christmas potluck.
- Remember the reason for the season. Although a lot of stress may come with your holiday planning, remember your reason for celebrating. Spending time with family will always be more meaningful than presents. Volunteer some time at local charities and bake your neighbor some holiday cheer! Happy Holidays!
Thursday, November 12, 2015
The Holiday Season is upon us! Don’t worry – U.S. Eagle has your back. Check out these Holiday Tips to help you save during the Holiday Season.