Saving Up for the Holidays

The holidays are quickly approaching and it may be too late to get any savings together for this year, but it’s definitely NOT too late for next year!

According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, the average American will spend around $1000 during the holiday season on gifts, decorations, cards, and other festive “necessities”. Over 13 million Americans are still paying off debt from last Christmas. This is one group that you don’t want to be a part of!

holiday spending tips

Save Some Green While Decking the Halls

Here are some tips we’ve discovered over the years to help make the holidays a little less stressful for everyone (in no particular order):

  • See if your financial institution offers a Christmas Club savings program. With auto-deposit straight from your paycheck, you may not notice the “missing” money while the pot grows paycheck after paycheck during the year.
  • Avoid signing up for store credit cards. Although they may entice you with a great deal when you sign up for the card, they usually have a high rate of interest. In addition, you may spend more than you planned, because you will be “saving” so much.
  • Make a shopping list. Before browsing on Amazon or heading to your favorite store, take some time and make a list of who you need to buy for and how much you are going to spend on each person. This will keep you on track when shopping.

Other tips:

  • Use social media. More and more businesses are using Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to reach their customers. Some of these companies offer special deals or discounts to their online followers.
  • Leave your debit and credit cards at home. Set aside the amount of money you are going to spend on each person and put the cash in an envelope. This way you won’t be tempted to spend “just a little more”.
  • Check online swap pages and chats. Places like Facebook have local swap or auction pages. Some items are brand new or handmade and you can get a great deal while keeping your spending local.
  • Look for discount codes. You can do a quick online search for discount codes for businesses and products. They can be percentages off, free shipping, or other savings that you can use towards your purchase.
  • Use your talents. Do you have artistic talents or are you a good cook or mechanic? You can make homemade works of art, dinners, or handyman services and offer them as gifts. These types of gifts usually mean a lot more to the recipient and can save you some money.

Jingling Change > Jingling Bells

Don’t dig yourself in a hole (or make your hole bigger) trying to keep up with the Joneses during the holidays. The people closest to you will most likely understand if you don’t lavish them with gifts, so there’s no sense in melting your credit cards to buy the Best Gift Possible.

If you do find yourself in a snowball of debt, give Consumer Credit of the Quad Cities a call and let us help you get back to your jolly, old self! We want everyone to have a joyful season!