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Ways to Save Money During the Holidays

The holidays are upon us once again and with that comes parties, gifts, and travel. While we all want to enjoy the holidays, we probably want to avoid getting caught up in the “break the bank” attitude that crops up this time of year. Here at United Credit Union, we want to help you save money while still enjoying the festivities of the season, so we have come up with seven tips for holiday savings.  
  1. Make a list: Just like Jolly Old Saint Nick, write down all the names of the people that you plan to buy gifts for and include what you are planning to buy. Then check it twice. Commit to this list and only purchase the items you have decided on beforehand. This tactic is especially great to help you avoid last minute or impulse purchases.
  2. Budget:  Decide how much you can and want to spend during the holidays on gifts, travel, and food, then stick to that budget. As you decide on your budget, remember to make it realistic. Do not create a budget that is too small to stick to or that will leave you wishing you had not spent as much when January rolls around. Thoughtfully consider what you need to purchase and create the budget accordingly. After you have decided on a budget amount, track your spending to ensure that you are remaining within the budget. Keep track of your receipts and add them up daily so that you are aware of the money you are spending. There are many apps and tools online to help you track spending, or you can even resort to the old pen and paper method to keep track of your purchases.
  3. Use cash: Using cash is a great way to track your spending, to stick to a budget, and to help you recognize what you are actually spending money on. In this digital age, using a debit card all the time does not allow you to physically see the money you spend, so people tend to overspend when they use cards. If you opt to use cash, consider using the envelope method, in which you put an allotted amount of cash into an envelope and only use that money for your holiday purchases. Once the money is out, you will have reached the limit of your budget. This is a great tool to help you avoid overspending.
  4. Use coupons: Stores notoriously offer a variety of coupons during the holiday season. Spending just a little time looking for coupons can save you from ten to fifty percent or more every time you shop. Look for coupons in printed store advertisements, online, and even on social media. One great way to make sure you are receiving coupons for your favorite stores is to sign up to receive promotional emails.
  5. Shop early: Begin your holiday shopping early so that you have time to compare prices and search for deals. Shopping early also allows you to space your spending out over a few weeks or months instead of spending a lump sum close to the holiday. 
  6. Be crafty: Consider giving homemade gifts this year. Many people appreciate receiving a gift that you have spent time on. A few examples of great handmade gifts include baked goods, such as pies, cookies, and breads; photo albums or scrapbooks; and if you’re into DIY projects, pottery, knitting, or wood-working are great avenues for creating handmade gifts.
  7. Take a break from small luxuries: Use the holiday season to implement new habits. Instead of spending money on small daily “splurge” items, such as lattes, sonic runs, or eating out, opt to make your coffee at home or bring your lunch from home to work. Even though these seem like small purchases, opting out of spending money on these items will help you save more money in the long run.
Mix and match these holiday savings tips to help you enjoy the season without breaking the bank. With United Credit Union’s Special Share Savings Account, you can set money aside for Christmas and New Year festivities because this special account is for whatever you choose it to be. Need an immediate personal loan to get that perfect gift? We have Holiday Loan Specials going on now. Give us a call at 888-207-2188 to set up an in-person meeting.
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