Money SmartsDecember 3, 2018
The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and celebration. Yet many of us find them to be a time of great financial stress. How can you give gifts to so many loved ones while balancing the need to spend, and not put yourself into a financial bind?
- Make a plan. Just because it’s the holidays, doesn’t mean you need to spend on impulse. Start by writing out your gift list. Don’t worry about picking any of the gifts just yet. But you can assign dollar amounts. Have a maximum amount you think you can afford, and dial that number back just a bit. Once you have your list and the number of dollars you’re planning to spend on each recipient, add it all up. If it’s too high, refine the dollar amounts on your list and recalculate. Repeat until you have landed in your spending comfort zone.
- Start early. By starting early, you give yourself more options. You have more sales to choose from, and you have more time to shop. And it gives you another valuable advantage as well: time.
- Open a secondary savings account. Our Santa Saver account is a great way to start saving while your money is kept safe and earns interest, all while giving you the flexibility to save for your own specific needs such as holiday travel and gift-giving. A $5 minimum deposit is needed to open an account, and you can earn a highly competitive rate on balances of $100 or more. Learn more: https://www.glcu.org/bank/savings/santa/
- Make gifts by hand. If you have more time than money this year, making handmade gifts is an ideal solution. Indeed, it’s more than ideal – a store-bought gift isn’t always appreciated for very long. A handmade gift is frequently kept and treasured for a lifetime.
- Send cards. Cards are cheaper than gifts, especially if you are crafty and can create them by hand. And cheaper still if you give them in person to people you see regularly instead of spending money on postage. Need to save even more? Email your cards and personalize each one to give them a special touch.
- Keep it simple. There’s nothing wrong with a quiet Christmas at home with your family. In fact, there’s a great deal about that idea that gets it exactly right.
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