With the holiday season upon us, it’s easy to feel the stress of financial obligations. Between shopping, traveling and everyday duties, our wallets can be left feeling a little stretched. Fortunately, the holidays don’t have to make you pinch too many pennies. Try a few new money saving tips that will surely make your life easier from Metro North Federal Credit Union.
Determine How Much You Can Spend Early On
Before you can really get into the holiday spirit, it’s important to make sure you know what you can afford to spend. Plan for an extra 10 percent of spending money just in case. Once you have this figured out a budget, stick to the it to make sure there aren’t any surprise flat screens on your next bill. When creating a holiday budget, items to consider include, but are not limited to:
- How many gifts you are purchasing
- Postage and shipping costs
- Cost of home decorations
Cash or Credit?
During the holidays, it’s easy to start feeling extra charitable. Just make sure you don’t put yourself into a tight spot once the season is over. If you’ve been known to become a little too generous during this time period, decide to only use cash. This way you determine what you can spend and make that amount available to you. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.
If you must use a credit card, consider purchases as small loans. Track any credit purchases. This way you don’t get lost in the spending splurge.
Use Technology for the Best Deals
It’s become common practice these days to do some shopping – if not all – on the Internet. Shopping online is easy and to-the-point. These days, you can use technology to make this process even easier. Here are few new options to try out this holiday season:
- Use online retailers to compare prices
- Compare products by reading reviews
- Deal Of The Day websites like Groupon and Woot offer sales and discounts
- Coupon apps such as “Cartwheel” from Target
Make Gifts Yourself
Present your loved ones with something truly unique and meaningful. A handmade gift is sure to show the recipient how much you care for them. Get creative and save some money by making your own gifts this holiday season. Check out these websites for some great inspiration!
- I Spy DIY
Research and Budget Travel
Travel can be one of the biggest headaches during the holidays. Getting to and from the airport is hard enough let alone purchasing tickets or renting a car. Search online and find the cheapest flights months in advance of the holiday season to save money. You can do the same with car rentals and bus tickets.
Tip: Print ticket confirmations in advance to avoid long lines at terminals.
Apply for a Low-Rate Loan From MNFCU!
Metro North Federal Credit Union is offering a holiday loan to help you make the best of your holidays. With rates as low 5.99%, MNFCU is here to help make January’s post-holiday bills a little easier to manage. Stop by one of our two locations or call us today!