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Whether you’re a big-time holiday planner or someone who takes a more “go with the festive flow” approach to the season, seasonal spending can creep up on you quickly. Here are five hidden holiday costs to keep an eye on, and tips for stretching your dollar further this holiday season.
To avoid going overboard on gifts and more, be ready with specific lists, amounts, and shopping strategies.
Get your plan in place. First things first – Create a budget, or spending plan, for holiday purchases. In addition to gifts, you may want to include food, travel expenses, and the hidden costs listed previously. Set reasonable limits and only include funds you know you have available – not a bonus that may not happen this year.
Make your list and check it twice – before and after you make purchases. Shop with a list and stay focused. Be sure to note when you buy something and how much it cost so you can easily tell if you’re staying in budget. Keep receipts in a safe place in case you can get a price adjustment or need to make a return.
Consider paying with cash. Many shoppers have an emotional attachment to cash and will think more carefully about a purchase if cash is the only option. If you’re more likely to overspend with your credit or debit card, try using cash only.
DCU’s Digital Banking services can help you stay on top of your finances now and all year round. For example, you can:
Visit our Financial Education page for additional resources that can help you spend wisely and save more.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as legal, financial, investment or tax advice or indicate that a specific DCU product or service is right for you. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a financial professional.
*Earn More is a sweep feature. Eligible balances are automatically swept out to FDIC and/or NCUA insured deposit accounts held at participating financial institutions throughout the country. You will still have access to your checking account funds. The feature becomes activated on the first of the month following the month enrollment took place. The feature can only be added to one checking account per membership, excluding HSA Checking accounts. Learn More about the Earn More Feature here.