Monday, November 19, 2018
How to get the most out of your holiday spending
The holiday deals have already started.
And shoppers are feeling especially giving this season. Consumers plan to spend just over $1,000 during the holidays, up 4.1 percent from the $967 they said they’d spend last year, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey.
Jenna Veach, operations assistant at Dupaco Community Credit Union’s Pennsylvania Avenue branch in Dubuque, Iowa, loves to shop. She especially loves to shop local to support her community.
We asked Veach to offer a few ways to help you get the most out of your holiday spending this season. Here’s what she said:
7 ways to get the most out of your holiday spending
Set a budget—and stick to it.
Look back at how much you’ve spent during the past few holiday seasons, and determine whether that amount is realistic and still fits into your overall budget. Make any necessary adjustments before you shop.
“In the past, I’ve definitely gotten caught up in the hype and excitement of gift-giving,” Veach says. “But over the past few years, I’ve started to become more budget-conscious. That doesn’t necessarily mean spending less, but being aware of what we’re spending and what we’re spending it on.”
Draw names instead of gifting to everyone.
“All of us adult children do not need so much, and neither do the kids,” Veach says. “My family has started drawing names and doing gift exchanges instead of buying gifts for everybody.”
A gift exchange allows you to spend a little more on the recipient—but still spend significantly less than you would if you were buying for several people.
Don’t wait until the last minute.
“There are deals to be had if you’re willing to watch for them and have the time to wait for items to ship,” Veach says.
Take advantage of your rewards credit card.
With the Dupaco Rewards Visa, you earn and redeem points—1 point for every $1 spent—for merchandise, travel, gift cards and even cash back.
But before using a credit card, it’s important to know what type of spender you are, Veach cautions.
“If you know you have money in your checking account and you’re going to turn around and pay that credit card balance in full, you won’t get charged interest,” she says. “But the holidays can make people get a little excited and charge more than they intended to.”
Sign up for emails from your favorite stores.
Remember the spirit of the holidays.
“If you’re having a rough go with finances, you can still be thoughtful with your gifts and still give a really, really great gift,” she adds. “If you ask a lot of people, they’ll say it’s the thoughtful gifts that mean the most to them.”
Maybe you give a small gift but package it with a heartfelt card. Or, give the gift of an experience. If your friend or relative has young children, you could offer to babysit so the parent can enjoy a kid-free night out.
Save throughout the year.
This year, Dupaco members saved a record $4.93 million through their Holiday Club accounts!
“I save throughout the year with payroll deduction, and whatever I have is what I’ve got to spend for Christmas,” Veach says. “With the Holiday Club, you’ll earn interest throughout the year, so you’ll get a dividend to stretch that dollar a little further.”
By Emily Kittle