We all know how expensive the holidays can be. There are presents to buy, ingredients to find, and donations to make. We’ve put together six tips to help keep your finances intact this holiday season…continue reading to learn more!
1. Create a detailed list of all your expenses. Don’t leap into your holiday shopping armed with nothing but a credit card. Before you hit the mall or start browsing, sit down and draw up a complete list of every holiday expense you can anticipate. Include all gifts, holiday décor, travel expenses, charitable donations and food costs. Try to keep this list as trim as possible by cutting out any non-essentials and using stuff you may already have in storage from previous years.
2. Determine how much money you can spend. Once you have all of your expenses written out, work on finding a magic number that will cover everything on your list and that you can realistically afford. Ideally, this money should come from funds you have set aside just for this purpose.
3. Divide and conquer. Next, assign specific amounts of money in your budget for each expense category and for every person on your gift list. For example, you can decide to spend $300 on your children’s gifts, allocate $100 to holiday décor, and spend $150 on food for your guests. Make sure your numbers will work from both a financial and practical perspective.
4. Track as you shop. As you shop, keep a careful account of exactly how much money you have spent for each person and in each expense category. This way, you will know how much you are spending and you won’t be surprised come January when you need to pay those credit card bills. To make this job easier, use your SeaComm Mobile App to view your transaction history, spending patterns, and transfer funds as needed.
5. Shop smartly and spend less. Keep your spending to a minimum by following these hacks:
- Follow the 24-hour rule. Before purchasing anything on the expensive side, wait 24 hours. Sometimes, after sleeping on it, you will find that you don’t need to buy that expensive gift after all. Or, you might find the same item somewhere else at a lower price.
- Shop online on Tuesday morning. Research shows this time of week is when you will find the best online deals.
- Use your Benefits Plus® membership: Your Benefits Plus® checking account with SeaComm provides you with a variety of savings options, including discounted gift and eGift cards, printable grocery coupons, and more! Stop by your local SeaComm branch to upgrade your basic checking account, today.
For complete information, terms, conditions and exclusions please visit www.benefits-plus.org or call 866-329-7587.
6. Let SeaComm help. If you are having trouble covering your holiday expenses, or you want to get a head start on next year’s costs, let SeaComm help! Here are three ways we can take the financial stress out of the holiday season:
- Christmas Club Account: Spread the cost of the holidays throughout the year with an account created just for that purpose. You’ll set aside a little bit of money each month into your Christmas Club Account, and when the holiday season rolls around, you’ll have all the funds you need on hand.
- Visa® Credit Card: With your SeaComm Visa® in hand, you don’t have to wait for approval, take on another source of debt, or even think about how you’ll pay for it all until later. You will even earn points for every dollar you spend, through our Scorecard Rewards Program!
- Personal Loan: If you can’t come up with the funds you need for the holidays, consider taking out a SeaComm Personal Loan. As a member, you may already be pre-approved for a personal loan or SeaComm Visa® through our loan pre-approval program, LoanEngine™! If you qualify for a pre-approved offer, you’ll be presented with it through our SeaComm Mobile app or NetTeller™ in the “My Offers” tab, via email, and/or a letter through the mail. Click here to login to your NetTeller™ to view your current offers! If you don’t have any offers at this time, be sure to check back every 60 days or visit your local SeaComm branch to apply.