Keep your finances intact while still enjoying the holiday gift giving tradition with these five tips:
1. Create a detailed list of all your expenses
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 figuring out how much it would cost to cover everything on your list that you can realistically afford. Ideally, this money should come from funds you’ve set aside just for this purpose.
3. Divide and conquer
Assign specific amounts of money in your budget for each expense category and for every person on your gift list. For example, you could decide to spend $300 on your child's gifts and to donate $100 to charity this season. Again, 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’ve spent for each person and in each expense category. It’s best to use cash or a debit card when shopping, and to review your budget often to make sure you’re staying on track. This way, you’ll know how much you’re spending and you won’t be hit by awful “Santa shock” come January when you need to pay those credit card bills.
5. Let USALLIANCE Financial help
If you think you might have trouble covering your holiday expenses this year, let USALLIANCE Financial help! Here are three ways we can take the financial stress out of the holiday season:
- Skip-a-Payment. We get it. The holidays are crazy expensive. That’s why we allow qualifying members to skip one payment on a loan this time of year without hurting their credit or defaulting on their loan. It’s extra breathing room, just when you need it most! Check in with our member services team to learn more.
- Personal Loan. If you can’t come up with the funds you need for the holidays, consider taking out a USALLIANCE Personal Loan. Our fantastic terms and affordable rates make it a no-brainer!
Don’t let financial stress ruin your holiday cheer this year. Follow our tips to keep your spending down, and stop by USALLIANCE to see how we can help!