The holidays are here, and with that extra expenses: gifts, decorations, family dinners, parties, travel, donations, entertainment — it can get overwhelming fast. That’s why we’re here with our 2021 holiday budgeting tips for smart spending — and a special, limited-time offer from Discovery FCU.
Set a Holiday Budget
The spirit of the season is giving, but there’s no need to go overboard and start the new year with a stack of bills, high interest payments, and buyers remorse. You can avoid all that by building a holiday budget as step one.
Your budget should include all your projected expenses. Assign an ideal dollar amount for each:
- Break down your gift list into how much you want to spend per person and keep track of your purchases as you go along.
- Compare and estimate travel costs, so you can spot any potential savings and frame an idea of how much you’ll spend.
- For decorations, make sure you break open the storage boxes you already have before you buy something new you might not actually need.
- Figure out what special holiday extras you might do for entertainment: Maybe a Christmas concert, a festival of lights display, or a Nutcracker ballet.
- Plan out any family dinners or parties and the expenses your family might incur for those.
- Finally, the holidays are a major time for charitable donations. Whether you’re buying food, toys or clothes for a Christmas drive or donating directly to a foundation, make sure you include this in your spending estimate.
Once you’ve planned and set your budget, stick to it. If you spend less than expected in one area, you can always move the extra money to another, but keep your eyes on the prize — holding to your bottom line.
Shop Smart This Season
Now, that you’ve set your holiday budget, how can you make sure you optimize it and stay under that total number? There are many ways to shop smart, take advantage of seasonal savings, and find the best deal.
Black Friday isn’t just the day after Thanksgiving anymore. Some stores extend deals throughout the season. Some retailers even push “Black Friday” sales as early as the summer.
The point is — deals aren’t going anywhere, and it pays to shop around. If you’re in-store, use your phone to check other retailers’ offers before you buy. This is even easier to do if you’re shopping online. Stores, now more than ever, will usually offer a price-match guarantee.
Dig for Deals
Beyond seasonal sales, many stores will offer additional deals that can save you money if you plan your shopping right:
- Some may provide free shipping, with or without a dollar limit.
- Some may offer store gift cards for buying a certain amount of their products, which you can then convert toward any shopping/gift list items they carry.
- Some will offer buy-one, get-one or cash-back deals.
- Others will market coupons that give you a dollar amount or percentage off one or more items. (Plus, you can shop coupon sites for discount codes and coupons too!)
All these types of incentives, especially when combined, can go a little or long way toward helping you spend smarter.
Look to Christmas Future
If you find yourself sweating the small stuff every time the holiday season rolls around, it might be wise to think ahead — far ahead.
After-Christmas sales are a smart time to stock up for next year, especially for things like wrapping paper, ornaments, or other decorations.
If you tend to spend around the same amount every year, start setting aside some money every month or every paycheck into a Discovery FCU savings account. That way, when the holidays arrive again, you are more than ready for everything the season brings.
A Little Help, A Lot of Merry
But for 2021, if you have your list of needs and wishes and you’re still coming up a little short, Discovery FCU is ready with a special offer that will get you through the holidays — without adding a lot of stress to your new year.
Our Holiday Visa® Platinum credit card is an easy, low-interest rate option that comes with zero application, annual or balance transfers fees and limits up to $20,000. Other highlights include:
- 2.99% APR (annual percentage rate) for the first six months for balance transfers
- 8.99% non-variable rate
- Earn ScoreCard rewards
- Shop anywhere with Visa’s Zero Liability Purchase Protection
- Easy payments options: online, by mail, or in-person
It’s easy to stay merry and stay smart with a Visa® Platinum credit card from Discovery FCU. Apply today and make this the holiday of dreams.