We love good sales and finding ways to keep money in our pocket – particularly when it comes to Christmas shopping. After a year of effort, We’re now more mindful of our expenditures as we reach ourfavorite time of year.
We bet there are a lot of you in the same boat. So local finance experts at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union have put together these 7 budgeting holiday tips to help you start preparing ahead of the season without any extra financial stress.
Build a budget and stick to the list.
It’s good to set a reasonable cap on what you can afford to spend on gifts and stick to them. List all your holiday-related expenses, such as decorations, lodging, food, paper wrapping, and presents. Then make it like Santa and check it twice.
ProTip: if you’d like some wiggle room on in the year, try applying for a Seasonal Shopping Loan from MIDFLORIDA, where participants can borrow up to $ 1,000 at rates as low as 12.25 percent.
Small, local businesses are suffering from the pandemic. A recent study showed that 43% of small businesses thought that COVID-19 had a moderate to serious effect. Shopping at a local business will not only help boost the local economy, but you’ll find unique gifts that can only be purchased in your hometown (and you’ll save on shipping costs if you can pick up anything locally).
Some of the nearby places we enjoy shopping for gifts are Twenty Seven, Pura Vie, Concord Coffee and K. Scott Jewelry, guy.
ProTip: If you’re dreaming of a nearby store, start shopping now. You’re going to help alleviate the burden of the coming holiday rush for the store and reduce the stress of running around last-minute for yourself.
Cutting your costs down
When you have developed a budget, you will analyze your expenditures + find ways to reduce unnecessary purchases.
ProTip: Search to see whether you qualify for the MIDFLORIDA Skip-A-Payment scheme. Or repay your car loan with MIDFLORIDA and get no interest for 3 months. * Incentive: You could qualify for a refinancing bonus of up to $200. * Hello, extra gift cash.
- Offer effective as of 1 July 2020 and can be cancelled at any time without warning. The eligibility conditions shall apply. Credit approval is required. Current MIDFLORIDA loans would not be eligible for these deals. To qualify for a $200 bonus, the applicant must refinance a $15,000 or more auto loan from another financial institution. Loans from $5,000 to $14,999 can offer a $100 reward. The reward would be deposited with a MIDFLORIDA check or savings account. Membership is needed.
Start your shopping early (and strategically)
Many people would rely more on online shopping this year as a result of the pandemic, and retailers have noticed – many local and national brands deliver online offers + discounts earlier than normal (read: before Black Friday and Cyber Monday).
When shopping online, use coupon apps / browser extensions like Rakuten or Honey to get the best promo codes from major retailers.
In addition , consider using a card that pays you back when you buy one of these presents. We love free money, guy. MIDFLORIDA ‘s Visa Signature Loyalty card offers 2.5 per cent cash back * on all transactions, plus a $100 bonus spends $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days *.
- Cardholders can receive 2.5 percent cash back on net transactions (purchases minus returns/credits) made on their credit card account. Qualified Purchases shall not include Balance Transfers, Cash Advances (including Convenience Checks), ATM Cash Disbursements, Money Transfers, Gaming Transactions, Tax Refunds, Finance Charges, or Fees. $100 bonus if you spend $2,000 on the first 90 days of sales. Only available on new credit card accounts. Membership is needed.
MIDFLORIDA also provides a debit card rewards program where you can choose credit at checkout and receive 2 points for transactions of $10-99.99 and 3 points for purchases of $100 +. You get $5 * for every 200 points you redeem.
- Free Online Banking is required to enter a debit card reward program. (This feature will soon be made available to Premier Online Banking users.) Only one debit card rewards program can be assigned per check account, but you can change your rewards program anytime. It can take two to five business days to start receiving rewards after you sign up. The per-transaction reward will change without warning.
Plan an exchanging of gifts
Whether it’s with your extended family or a group of friends, a gift exchange is a great way to save money and celebrate. Everyone buys a gift for one guy, vs. everyone who buys a gift for everyone.
There are many types of exchanges, including Hidden Santa and White Elephant. However you play, just don’t do the Michael Scott and change the rules to the mid-gift exchange.
Give them the gift of time
Physical gifts are not always the most precious gifts. Consider offering a gift of time and effort – like babysitting for new parents (or for your mates who are the parents of two lovely toddlers and who haven’t had a night out in four years).
Did your parents eventually plan to renovate their homes? Give wallpaper — removal, painting, or cabinetry — installing services to help them out. You might even turn these gifts into a sweet coupon booklet like you did when you were a kid, except you’re really doing it this time.
Start saving for next year
Already calling the holiday gift budget a wash this season? Or have you ordered all your gifts? You should start organizing for the next year. It’s never too early to start planning for holidays, and to develop the holiday budget that you generated earlier in your year-round plan.
To help you prepare ahead, MIDFLORIDA provides a Holiday Club Savings Account, a separate account where you can move a small amount of your paycheck each month. The account is closed until November 1st (to prevent you from wasting the set-aside savings on other things) and after November 1st, your money can be moved to another MIDFLORIDA account or sent to you in a check form. Boom. Boom. You’re going to be ahead of the curve when it’s time for holiday shopping.
Bonus: Shopping at the end of the holiday season will result in meager prices. (Think: big savings on decoration, wrapping paper, and seasonal gifts – including winter clothes – that you can save and send as gifts next year.)