Holidays are fun, and we all want to make them special. But we should be careful not to spend too much money. Staying within budget and not overspending is important, saving you money and reducing stress.
Did you know?
Most people in America spend about $998 on holiday purchases every Christmas. This is like spending what most people earn in a week! Here’s how that money is often distributed:
- Gifts for family and friends: $648 (65%)
- Things like food and decorations: $231 (23%)
- Other stuff for friends and family: $118 (12%)
It’s hard to believe how quickly these numbers can add up.
|“With inflation hitting nearly every aspect of life, it’s sure to cost even more this year. For example, the Consumer Price Index rose 6.8% between November 2020 and November 2021, spurred by gasoline, food, and housing price increases. Higher energy costs caused inflation to rise further in 2022, reaching 8.9%, a high not seen since 1981.” Source: Wikipedia|
Inflation has undoubtedly cast a shadow over many American households. As purchasing power has eroded, families are having to allocate larger portions of their budgets to maintain holiday traditions. For some, the joy of gift-giving can be overshadowed by financial strain, while others may have to reconsider holiday menus or even forego certain festivities altogether. The emotional toll of having to compromise can weigh heavily, making it essential for families to find new ways to stretch their dollars.
But don’t worry! There are ways to make sure you don’t spend too much.
- Stick to a Holiday Budget:
Think of how much money you can spend on the holidays. Write down everything you spend to keep track. Make sure your plans are realistic. Sometimes, you might need to think of new ways to give gifts without spending too much.
- Consider a Christmas Club:
Be proactive and tackle holiday expenses all year long! Here, you can save a certain amount every pay period with funds distributed in November. It’s a great way to budget, save, and look forward to holiday shopping! You can also use the funds for specific expenses, like holiday meals or traveling to see loved ones. And remember, even a small amount saved weekly (made easy through payroll deduction) can make the holidays less stressful next year.
- Be Careful with Credit Cards:
Consider how you’ll pay back the funds if you’re using a credit card. Interest can make things expensive. And if an offer says “0% interest,” make sure to pay off your balance before the offer expires — which it undoubtedly will. Better yet, take advantage of your NCACU Credit Card. With us, you’ll never need to worry about the fine print!
- Plan Your Gifts:
Write down who you’re buying gifts for and what you’ll get them. This can prevent you from buying too many things, making impulse purchases, or going over budget when shopping.
- Shop Smart:
Look for the best deals. Use apps or websites to find coupons and discounts. Black Friday isn’t the only time for savvy deals!
Who doesn’t love a good discount? By leveraging reputable coupon apps, you can achieve online and in-store savings for groceries, apparel, home necessities, and more. Consider some of the top coupon apps to maximize your savings.
NerdWallet rates these as the best in 2023:
- Ibotta: Grocery shopping, personal care items, household goods, pet food, dining, and more.
- The Coupons App: Shopping, dining, and gas purchases.
- ShopSavvy: Price comparisons, price tracking, and sales alerts.
- Target (with Target Circle): Target shoppers.
- CouponCabin: Online and in-store shopping.
- PayPal Honey: Online shopping.
- Dosh: Travel, dining, and general shopping.
- Watch Your Spending:
Remember, holidays aren’t just about gifts. You might also spend money traveling, eating out, preparing holiday meals, or going to shows. Keep these costs in mind. Use Online and Mobile Banking to help track your purchases and balance information — or sign up for alerts to help monitor your spending.
- Gifts Don’t Need Price Tags:
It’s the thought that counts, right? Don’t worry about spending the same amount on everyone. What matters is that the gift comes from the heart.
- Reflect on the Real Holiday Spirit:
Holidays are more about spending time with family and keeping traditions alive. It’s not just about the gifts. So, try to enjoy the holidays without stressing about money. Remember to plan, spend wisely, and enjoy the special moments with your loved ones!