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Tips for sticking with your holiday budget

If you love giving gifts to your family and friends, it can be hard to not overspend during the holiday season. Even those who are good about staying on budget all year end up splurging a little too much when it comes to gift giving. But sticking to your holiday budget doesn’t have to be hard. It’s all about planning ahead. Here are seven tips for sticking to your holiday shopping budget this year.

Tip 1: Make a list for everything

Lists are an important part of keeping your finances organized any time of year, but especially during the holidays. Make separate lists for holiday food, decorations, and gift costs. Keeping a list of all your potential expenses will help you to prioritize your holiday expenses. Purchase the items high on your list, then check them off, and see how much money you have left to spend on the remaining items.

Tip 2: Shop using cash

If you tend to purchase your gifts in a store rather than online, try using only cash to do your holiday shopping. It is much easier to overspend when you’re using a credit card. Using cash to make your holiday purchases helps you to clearly see exactly how much you’ve spent and how much is left in your budget.

Tip 3: Take time to find deals

Start comparison shopping before the holidays even start. If you don’t know how much a product normally costs, how will you know if you’re getting a good deal on for Black Friday? It’s important to take time to find deals. Don’t be afraid to return an item to the store if a better discount for the same item comes along.

Tip 4: Cut back your giving

Although the holidays are the time for giving, you shouldn’t put yourself in financial hardship over them. Keep your gift-giving list short. If your budget is tight, you may have to skip the office gift exchange or skip mailing greeting cards. It may not be what you want to do but come January your finances will thank you.

Tip 5: Set expectations ahead of time

If you tell your family and friends about your holiday budget, they will likely understand; they are probably all on a budget too. Working together you may even be able to save each other money by going in on gifts together or by agreeing to not purchase each other gifts.

Tip 6: Set up a Holiday Club Account

GE Credit Union makes it easy for you to save for the holidays with a Holiday Club Savings Account. Set aside some money each month through a payroll deduction, direct deposit, or automatic transfers. You can also transfer additional amounts into the account at any time. Start this fall and then, come November 1, 2020, your funds will automatically transfer into your primary account,1 just in time for the holidays.

Get details  or  Apply today

Tip 7: Get a holiday loan

If you have decided this is the year for your family to borrow money for a special vacation or large gift, be sure you get the best rate you can. Our holiday loan provides up to $15,000 at a rate as low 4.75% APR for 15 months.2 Other rates and terms are available as well.

View rates  or  Apply online

Want to learn more?

Check out our Financial Resource Center to read about how to help kids gear up for holiday spending.

1 Withdrawal of funds from a Club account prior to the end of the Club Year will result in a $25.00 penalty charged to the account.
2 Full details are available on our website at https://www.mygecreditunion.com/en-US/Rates/Personal-Loans

Adapted from Credit Union National Association Inc.