The holiday season is filled with family, fun and unfortunately, spending. Preparing for the
holidays can be joyous and stressful all at the same time. With proper planning, your worries can be alleviated and you can focus on the important things this holiday season.
Make a master list When it comes to holiday shopping, most people make a list of the people they need to buy gifts for and leave it at that. They conveniently forget to budget for all the other expenses that come with the holidays. Consider home decorations (both inside and out), party costs (both as the host and as a guest), travel, greeting cards, postage costs, gift wrap and other supplies when planning your holiday budget.
Estimate the costs Once you have your holiday list, look at each item and make a quick estimate of the cost. Be sure to include estimates on the prices for each of the gifts you are planning to give. Add everything up and you will have an estimate of what the holidays are going to cost you and your family.
Set a budget Chances are your initial estimate of your holiday costs may not fit your current budget. If you find your initial estimate is more than you can afford to spend, go through the list again, making adjustments where you can. Doing this a second time should help you be more critical on what you are willing to spend on each item and help bring down your overall expenses. You may also find that some of the expenses you had originally placed on the list are things you can do without.
Begin looking now Once you have the list and a budget, begin looking for the things you need right away. The sooner you can find everything, the less stress you will have as the holidays come closer. You will also be much less likely to overspend if you’re not in a rush to purchase things at the last minute.
Research prices Once you know the gifts you plan to purchase, spend a little time researching the price. Most people are so relieved at having found a gift, they buy it without a second thought. Doing so will rarely be a bargain. Check online to see if the gift can be found for less (don’t forget to add shipping costs) and check other stores in the area. The closer you get to the holiday, the less opportunity you will have to search for the best price – which means paying more.
Use your talents Homemade gifts will often be more meaningful and cost much less than a store-bought gift. If you have a talent for photography, incorporate that into your gift giving. If you are a good cook, consider making a food basket of your favorite creations. Using your talent can save you money and let the recipient know you have put time, thought and effort into the gifts.
Gifts that make a difference There are always some people who already have everything they need. Consider a donation to their favorite charity or a cause you know they support instead of a gift.
FOUNDERS CAN HELP
Are you in need of some extra cash to make it a holiday to remember for you and your family? Founders offers Holiday Loans with quick turnaround, flexible terms and competitive rates.
Founders also offers a Platinum Visa and MasterCard® that is one of the best deals around. Our Platinum Credit Cards have no annual fee, low annual percentage rates, CURewards and online access through Founders Online.
Visit an office near you or apply today for your loan or credit card.
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Not NCUA Insured - No Credit Union Guarantee - May Lose Value - Not Deposits - Not Insured by any Federal Government Agency.