November 5, 2018
How to Keep your Holiday Budget Merry and Bright
Yes, whether you’re ready or not, the holiday season has officially begun. And while this time of year can be a great opportunity to connect with family, it can also be traumatic for your finances if you’re not careful. So how do you buy gifts for everyone on your list without blowing up your budget? Try these tips:
Make a Game Plan
Make a gift list and set limits on what you can spend. You’ll also want to review your checking account and credit card balances so that you don’t get too wrapped up in the holiday spending spirit. Set realistic goals. If you can’t pay off your purchases immediately or in a short amount of time, re-assess your plan.
Comparison Shop Online
One of the perks of online shopping is the ability to research. Before you click that "buy now" button, compare the item you’re considering by checking the price across different retailers. It might be listed full-price on one site, but on-sale on another. Also look for free shipping. If you spend enough time researching different retailers, you may find a helpful discount on the delivery of your gift.
Rewards Points to the Rescue
If your credit card has a rewards or points program, now’s the time to take advantage of it. As you shop, you’ll earn points and those points can then be redeemed later for credit towards your statement, gift cards, travel, cash and more! Be careful not to overspend, you don’t want to get stuck with a huge amount of debt that you won’t be able to repay quickly. Before reaching for your credit card, make sure you’re reaching for the right one that provides the most benefits. A FirstLight Visa credit card offers great low introductory rates and an excellent rewards program. It’s also compatible with Apple Pay, Google Pay and many other digital wallets to make shopping online and in store quick and easy. To learn more about FirstLight’s Credit Cards, visit FirstLightFCU.org
Experiences May Mean More
Whether or not you’re on a tight budget, sometimes the best gifts are low-cost, personal gestures. So rather than spending a ton of cash, give a framed photo or cook a delicious meal for a family member or friend. A one-of-a-kind experience is more memorable than a gift you can easily buy from a store. After all, what’s more important than spending time with family during this holiday season? So, shop less, and make more time for those you love most.