The holidays will be here before you know it. If you plan to purchase gifts this year, being mindful about spending and creating a savings goal now can help keep your finances on track and make the holiday season less stressful.
GET SMART MONEY MANAGEMENT TIPS WITH BALANCE FINANCIAL FITNESS.
SLFCU offers free financial education resources from BALANCE on topics such as ways to lower holiday spending, when to use credit (and when to avoid it), getting out of debt, saving for college, and building a budget. BALANCE also offers calculators to help determine strategies for reaching your financial goals. Visit slfcu.org/Balance for more information.
SET A SAVINGS GOAL IN ONLINE BANKING.
SLFCU members can easily create savings goals in online banking. Goals can be created for different categories, such as holiday gift buying, charitable donations, or travel.
To get started, log in to online banking and click on “More” then “Savings Goals.” You only need to know the amount you want to save and a target date for when you would like to reach your goal. The system will tell you how much you need to save each month and will track your progress. Once the goal is created, you can view it in online banking and the mobile app.
KIDS CAN SET GOALS, TOO.
Children or teens planning to purchase holiday gifts can start saving now, too. If your child uses online banking, they can set their own savings goal for their account. Parents might choose to match all or part of the amount they save as a reward for good savings practices. Young SLFCU members ages 12 and under can also join the SLFCU Savings Laboratory® for a fun way to get excited about saving while earning prizes. Learn more at slfcu.org/SavingsLaboratory.
ADDITIONAL MONEY-SAVING TIPS FOR HOLIDAY GIVING:
- Know how much you can realistically spend. Set and stick to a budgeted amount for each person on your list and be sure to track your spending.
- Pay attention to store ads, including online retailers, and compare prices for the same or similar items. Look for free shipping, coupons, or special promotions. And remember: one-day-only “doorbuster” deals don’t always offer significant savings over regular prices.
- Homemade gifts can be fun to make and share, and might be easier on your wallet.
- If you use a credit card, don’t charge more than you can pay off in a month’s time.
- Overwhelmed by getting individual gifts for everyone in a large group? Organize a drawing where everyone picks a name out of a hat and buys one gift for their selected person instead.
With some advanced planning and a clear goal for how much you want to spend, the holiday season can be more enjoyable and put less stress on you – and your wallet.
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