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Six Holiday Budget Tips

November 28, 2016

The first dusting of snow is on the ground, shoppers are rushing to stores, and families everywhere are gathering to celebrate the holidays. The holiday season is a cause for celebration and an opportunity to spend time with those we care about, but trying to find gifts for everyone is often a source of enormous financial stress. Never fear! We have some tips to help you control your holiday spending and help you enjoy the season without breaking the bank.

Set Your Maximum Budget
This sounds like common sense, but it’s important. Determine a realistic budget and set personal spending expectations that won’t burn up your entire paycheck.  A great way to stick to this is to load a pre-paid Visa debit card with the maximum amount, and when the debit card is gone, your shopping is done.

Set Reasonable Expectations with Friends and Family
Your family and friends will love you regardless of presents. Gifts from the heart often mean more than ones that stretch Santa’s budget.  Which leads us to…

Non-traditional Gifts Can Have a Big Impact
Do you have a creative streak? Write and illustrate a story that includes your kids in it and give it to them. Handmade items can often be more affordable for you and typically more treasured by loved ones.  What about the gift of time?  Offer a night of babysitting to your best friends so they can enjoy a night out.
 
Skip the Gifts
Consider agreeing on a non-profit organization as the recipient for your family’s gift budget.  Often, you can donate in someone’s name without disclosing the dollar amount of the gift. Large or small, your dollars spread the holiday spirit far and wide—and are guaranteed not to get lost in the back of the closet.    
 
Set up a Holiday Savings Account
This piece of advice is in preparation for next year’s holidays! Set up a special holiday savings account in January and add to it throughout the year.  Then you’ll be ready to splurge when you want give something really special.
 
Get the Best Deals
The cell phone in your pocket and constant Internet access makes comparison shopping a snap. This includes local stores, too. Be sure to factor in easy returns, future service needs, and special sales to the cost of the item.  The best “deal” may not be the lowest price, and may be available by calling the specialty shop around the corner.
 
Make Sure to Enjoy Your Holidays
Holidays are often a huge source of stress--focus on enjoying time with loved ones.  No gift is worth taking your attention away from the people who matter to you.
 
Contact First Security Bank today for any of your banking needs. We can help set up a holiday savings account or load a prepaid Visa gift card for you.
 
On behalf of the entire First Security family – Happy Holidays!