The season of holiday shopping is here, and so is the inevitable financial stress— but don’t panic! We’re here to help you conquer the chaos and take control of your finances, so you can give great gifts and feel great about what you spent.
The first step for tackling the holiday shopping season is setting a budget. Your budget sets the tone of your whole shopping game plan— what presents you can buy, which deals to look for, which payment type to use, and more.
Sure, you’ve probably heard the spiel about the importance of budgeting before. It can sound a bit intimidating or overwhelming at times— but it doesn’t have to be! Check out some of our budgeting services or ask for budgeting help from one of our representatives to make this daunting task easier. The internet is also laden with websites and programs that can do the budgeting for you. Find what works best for you— set up a spread sheet, scrawl it out in a notebook, or iron it out online. Find your budgeting flow.
Sit down with a nice hot cup of cocoa, wrap up in a cozy blanket, and budget away. Make a night of it and feel confident in your ability to get your finances together. You’ll thank yourself in the end.
There are many ways to fund your holiday shopping spree. Figure out how much money you have available to spend immediately and what items you will need to buy through credit cards or fund with holiday loans.
Our advice? Put down the high-interest rate credit cards and check out ours. Our credit cards feature interest rates significantly lower than the national average. We understand that our members have a lot of Christmas cheer to spread, and we want to help you do it.
Santa isn’t the only one who should have a list. Get a pen and some paper and write down everyone you want to give gifts to this season. Determine how much you can spend for each person first, then brainstorm gifts for each of your names. This is the fun part! Put on Santa’s hat and think of creative ways to spread cheer to your favorite people.
If you find yourself spreading your budget too thin, go back through and adjust the names on your list and the spending amount. Remember, not every gift needs to cost money— don’t underestimate the joy that a homemade gift or a good deed can bring to Christmas Day.
You have your gift list, now you need to perfect it. Browse the internet to get an idea of the deals that will be happening near you, either in store or online.
Compare deals you see for the same item across stores and websites— one company may be selling the item for significantly less than another. You deserve the best deal. Put in the work to find out which stores are promoting the best sales, and make sure the item is still in budget after you factor in taxes or shipping costs.
We know that holiday shopping can be stressful. You’re paying your regular bills, taking care of your everyday expenses, and planning for holiday shopping on top of that. It can be tempting to open multiple credit cards or store cards, which come with incredibly high-interest rates. Don’t get stuck paying big balances on multiple cards. We have numerous options that can help you fund your holiday shopping without spending more.
While many companies offer deals throughout the months of November and December, some are specific to days like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. These two days easily become chaotic if you don’t have a good game plan.
Research which deals are offered online and which require you to show up in-person. Because of health and safety concerns, many stores will be shifting to an online Black Friday experience, but you should still double check. Also check store hours for any place you might need to visit in-person. Regular store hours will likely be adjusted for Black Friday and COVID-19 precautions, so keep a close eye on company websites for updates.
Another shopping holiday to look out for is the lesser known but crucially important “Small Business Saturday.” It falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and it is more important than ever this year. With the pandemic still in effect, small businesses are struggling to support themselves. On Small Business Saturday, local businesses will break out great deals and some even organize seasonal events for their customers. This day is a great way to give back to your community, so look into your local businesses and see how you can support them.
Now that you have a budget, a list, and a plan of attack, you are all set to shop responsibly this holiday season. The holidays are a time for joy; don’t let your finances stress you out. Instead of panic-spending and budget-breaking, take some time to prepare and research your options. You’ll be happy you did, especially when both the people on your gift list and your wallet are thanking you.
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