You’ve made your holiday shopping list. Before you head out to the stores or log on to your favorite shopping site, we suggest you add something else to your list: a holiday spending check-in.
As The Wall Street Journal recently reported, now is a bad time to spend money; this is a moment to focus on saving. How do you accomplish this when you’ve gifts to buy? Read on for tips.
Put Your Spending Resolutions Into Practice Now
The time to set budgeting goals is before you start spending this holiday season, not after. Knowing what your limits are upfront helps you avoid huge bills later. As Katy Milkman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, notes in the WSJ article, “If someone is deciding between waiting for New Year’s or starting immediately to improve their financial situation, they’re better off starting immediately.”
Review Your Budget
Do you know how much you spend each month? Not just your monthly bills but all the transactions you make, from buying gas to stopping for coffee to the occasional weekend getaways. With this number in hand, you can decide how much to budget for holiday gift giving. If you discover your monthly expenses exceed your income, it’s time to rethink your holiday gift budget. One way to ensure you have funds for the holidays every year is through our Holiday Club savings account. Use it to automatically transfer money from your paycheck or checking account into your Holiday Club savings account. Funds are disbursed in early November, just in time for holiday shopping. The account yields a nice 0.25% APY*, and there are no monthly fees or minimums to open the account. It’s the set-it-and-forget-it savings plan that helps you deliver joy without busting your holiday budget.
Have The Holiday Budget Talk
Once your budget is determined, share your spending goals with family and friends. It’s a great way to hold yourself accountable, manage expectations, and open the door to other family money conversations. One of the best budget-friendly gifts you can give is your time. Offer to babysit or do a little home maintenance for those who may be unable to do it for themselves. If you’re a computer whiz, make a coupon for an hour of computer tutoring. For craftier folks, the internet is filled with simple, affordable gift ideas you can make at home. And you can always bake a fan favorite and present it in an attractive box or basket adorned with a beautiful ribbon.
Give Yourself The Gift Of Savings
Remember to gift yourself. We’re not talking about the latest gadget. We’re talking about a high-yield savings account. Interest rates are incredibly high. Not only is this a chance to save by not spending, your account earns you money. Yes, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. With our Online Savings account, you’ll earn an impressive 4.00% APY** with Direct Deposit (3.50% APY without Direct Deposit). There are no minimum deposit or maintenance fees, and your funds are federally insured.
If you’re not ready to focus on saving, we get it; it’s hard to do during the holidays, than be a smart spender by avoiding high-interest credit cards. Do you know the interest rates on the credit cards in your wallet? As of this writing, the average credit card interest rate is 27.80%! Our Select Visa® comes with a rock-bottom rate as low as 8.99% APR. Plus, there is no annual fee. And it comes with 0% intro APR for the first six months. Visit our credit card page for complete rules and conditions.
A Few Final Thoughts
You’re not the only one with a holiday shopping list. Fraudsters have them, too, and all our names are on it. We will NEVER call, email, or text you for any personal information, username, passwords, or passcodes. If you receive a call, email, or text from any number or person claiming to be an employee of the Credit Union requesting this information, LET US KNOW BY CALLING US DIRECTLY at 800.877.2345. Have a safe, budget-friendly, wonderful holiday season!
For more information and ideas on defending yourself against fraudsters during the holidays and all year, please visit our security page.
* APY = Annual Percentage Yield. APY is the annualized rate based on a compounding period of one year. When the deposited money earns dividends and the accumulated dividends starts earning dividends as well, we are talking about compounding. Fees could reduce the earnings on an account. All yields except Certificate yields are subject to change retroactively to the beginning of the month.
** APY = Annual Percentage Yield. APY is the annualized rate based on a compounding period of one year. When the deposited money earns dividends and the accumulated dividends starts earning dividends as well, we are talking about compounding. Fees could reduce the earnings on an account. All yields except Certificate yields are subject to change retroactively to the beginning of the month.
Rate bonus for $1,000 monthly Direct Deposit into a Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union Checking Account. No branch or call center access with this account.