It’s that time of year.
Christmas is just a few weeks away and with the cost of gifts, food and maybe a flight or two back home for the holidays, your bank account may take some punishment.
According to the financial experts at the Peninsula Credit Union, when it comes to saving money, willpower and knowing why you’re saving are two driving factors to saving money going into the holiday season. With that in mind, the Peninsula team is paying it forward with nine helpful savings tips made for the season:
- Start with a plan. If you create a budget for the next celebration shortly after this year’s festivities, it’ll be easier to calculate costs and provide almost 12 months to save. Include all expenses, such as traveling, food, gifts and decorations. Saving monthly will minimize the need for debt and can reduce stress so you can focus on the merriment.
- Compare in-person and online prices. As shopping trends shift in favor of online shopping, brick-and-mortar stores offer more enticing prices to lure customers back to their stores. Prices can be significantly lower, especially when factoring in shipping costs
- Book a money management session with Peninsula Credit Union. Whether you’re working toward smaller financial goals, like a weekly wine-and-dine budget or something longer term, such as a new car or first home, working alongside Community Financial Educator Darrell McVea can help get you on track for success. Book a session here – free whether you’re a Peninsula member or not.
- Make lists and stick to them. List names and gift ideas for each person you plan on gifting to this holiday season.
- Plan your travel. By booking travel 60 to 90 days in advance, you’ll ensure accommodations are available and can significantly cut travel costs. In addition, checking trip planning off your to-do list will help reduce that holiday stress!
- Manage children’s expectations. This helps shift the focus of the day from gifts to the meaning of the holiday, and is a teachable moment about the value of money. Ask children to prioritize their wish list, putting most-wanted items first. Pro Tip: Give your child a budget and ask them to ensure their asks fit within it.
- Normalize holiday potlucks. Holiday dinners or parties can be expensive. Potlucks are an easy way to shift the burden of buying everything yourself.
- Get creative with Christmas cards. Store-bought cards can cost $4 a piece – or more. If you send 20 cards, that’s an extra $80, not including postage. Creating your own cards can help you save, and resist the temptation to buy the pricey supplies peppering scrapbook aisles. Creating and sending cards electronically, avoids spending money completely.
- Wrapping paper is overrated! Wrapping paper is expensive, and will only be ripped and thrown away. Being creative with materials you already have could save quite a bit in packaging: colorful ads make fun bows, and newspapers can be an interesting way to wrap a gift. For added creativity, save fall leaves or clip some greenery for decoration.
As the holiday season approaches, Peninsula Credit Union is more than just a financial institution; they pride themselves on being partners in your financial well-being.
Their mission is simple but powerful: “We listen, we serve, we educate, we care…Always!” In the spirit of this commitment, the team at the local Port Townsend branch is ready to assist you. Visit today at 1250 W Sims Way in Port Townsend, or call at 360-426-1601 to speak with a local Peninsula team member. Whether planning for the holidays or considering long-term financial goals, the team at Peninsula is here.