The holidays are over, and pretty soon the holiday bills will be coming in. If you overspent this year, you don’t have to make the same mistake in 2015. I know Christmas 2015 seems like it’s very far away, but with a little planning now, you can avoid overspending next year.
So, where to start? First things first: you’ll want to finalize your 2015 Budget. Having a realistic budget that you stick to every month is the single best thing you can do to get off to a good start in 2015. Need some help getting started? Visit our website to download a budget template. Holiday spending should be a line item in that budget. Determine how much, in total, you can afford to spend on holiday giving. Then divide that total by 12 to get your monthly cost. Each month, stash away your monthly cost into a savings account. Or better yet, Use Northwest Georgia Credit Union’s Christmas Club. The club begins on November 1 and runs through October 31 of the following year, though members may join the club at any point in the year. Other benefits include:
• Account balance automatically sent to members on maturity, either by check or deposit into a share account
• No minimum balance
• Dividends paid quarterly (calculated on daily balance)
• Account automatically reopens for the following year, for your convenience; Deposits can be made by mail, in person, or by payroll deduction.
Now it’s time to figure out what, exactly, you’ll be buying with all that wisely-saved money. If you sketch out a list now, you can take advantage of seasonal pricing on many items. Check out this article from Consumer Reports on what time of year certain products are cheapest. Shop throughout the year to get the best prices.
If you regularly use a credit card throughout the year, use one with a low interest rate that gives you reward points for using it to buy groceries, gasoline, etc. If you shop smart all year long and pay off your balance each month, you can use those reward points to get free gifts like gift cards for family and friends. What’s better than free? If you need a simple, low rate card with great rewards, check out Northwest Georgia Credit Union’s Platinum Visa Card.
With a little planning ahead, you can save big on holiday spending in 2015. What are your ideas for saving?