Surviving the Holidays on a Budget

Shoppers are expected to spend around $731 billion on the holidays this year, with the average person projected to spend at least $885. It may sound like a lot, but it’s easy to go over your budget at the holidays. We’ve got some useful tips to help you rein in your expenses this season.

  • Make a List – Just like Santa, you start out with a list of who’s nice enough to get a present this year! Write down everyone, from your family to your hair stylist – anyone you normally give a gift to. Then put a dollar figure next to each name. Add it up to make sure the total is reasonable.
  • Check the List – With your phone, that is. Do some initial online shopping to see just how much those perfect gifts for each person costs. Check that it’s close to the dollar amount you wrote down. If not, you might want to shop around for a deal and/or adjust the dollar amount you’re setting aside for that person.
  • Shop Early – Procrastinators usually end up spending more on presents because they’re scrambling around last minute to get everything on their list. Shopping early gives you a better selection of items at better prices – and takes a little stress out of the holidays.
  • Hit the Sales – As awesome as Black Friday deals are, many online and brick and mortar retailers have big sales throughout the holidays. Check the newspaper and get on the email list for your favorite stores so you can get notifications of upcoming sales.
  • Go Homemade – On a super tight holiday budget? Sometimes homemade gifts are the best solution. From cookies and photos to knit mittens or other crafts, homemade gifts often mean more and will lighten your budget.
  • Think Secret Santa – Have a big family to buy for? You might want to consider drawing names and going the Secret Santa route this year. That way, you’ll only have one family gift to give, instead of a dozen. Also, think about setting a reasonable budget that everyone needs to adhere by. That way none of you will overspend.
  • Start Saving Early – While it’s too late to start saving for those bigger gifts for this holiday season, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about saving for next year’s. Put a little away each week or month and whittle away at that budget. WWFCU even offers a Holiday/Christmas Account to help you save.

We hope our tips will help take a little stress out of your holiday season and help you save money. Want other ways to save your money? Speak to a WWFCU Member Service Representative for information on our various accounts at (734) 721-5700.

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