Holiday Game Plan: Operation Budgeting and Saving
Tips on not overspending this holiday season and getting a head start on 2021 saving
This year has been one of many ups and downs in all areas of life, and that kind of unpredictability can put a damper on the saving goals that were set at the beginning of 2020. Now, the holiday season has snuck up on us, and many people are currently in full financial panic mode trying to get their Christmas shopping in order.
Saving and budgeting are the keys to relieving financial stress, and although we are only weeks away from Christmas, there are still things you can do to avoid walking into 2021 with a spending hangover.
A game plan for this year:
- Get a good look at what your spending situation looks like now. Start with your regular expenses like monthly bills. After subtracting your monthly expenses from your income, see how much you have left. If saving was not your number one priority this year, then understanding what you have to work with will help you not overspend or go into debt. Remember, holidays are about so much more than the gifts.
- Make a list and check it twice! Write down all the people you want to buy for, and based on the total amount you’re allocating toward gift buying, set a budget for each person. You can find amazing deals during the holidays that will help you keep to your budget, while still affording a nice gift for your family and friends. Another tip to stay within your budget is to consult with those in your holiday circle on going in on a gift for someone together to save money.
2021 Savings Plan:
After enjoying a fun holiday celebration without breaking the bank, now is the perfect time to start planning for Christmas in 2021. I know, I know, it may sound crazy, but it’s never too early to save for future expenses. Everyone’s situation is different, so here are a few saving strategies to try and see which one works best for you.
- The 52 Week Challenge. This is a great strategy for those who feel that saving is completely out of their means right now because you start by saving only one dollar! At the beginning of December, save $1 for the first week, then $2 the next week, then $3 the following week, and so on, adding one dollar each week for a year. In the end, you will have nearly $1,400 to spend on the holidays.
- Start a holiday savings account. Most banks or credit unions offer savings accounts that are locked until the holiday season. That means you can put money into the savings account each month but can’t withdraw it until the holidays. This is a great option for those who are easily tempted to dip into their savings. Telhio Credit Union offers several savings account options that fit your exact needs.
- Automatic transfers are the easiest way to save in general and for the holiday season. You can set a specific amount to be automatically transferred into your savings account each time your paycheck is deposited. You won’t even notice it happening, and over time, you will have a hefty budget to spend on gifts and other necessities.
Telhio Credit Union can help you manage your personal finances for a stress-free holiday season. Talk to a Telhio financial expert on savings options that will work best for you. Learn more at telhio.org/savings_account.
This is a mutli-part sponsored series presented with paid support by Telhio Credit Union.
Telhio Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or goes to school in Franklin, Fairfield, Delaware, Licking, Madison, Pickaway, Union, Hamilton, Warren, Butler and Preble counties. Founded in 1934, originally as the credit union for the Columbus Telephone Co., Telhio is a not-for-profit financial cooperative where its members are also its owners. Driven by its philosophy that members come first, Telhio is committed to the highest standards of responsibility and conduct. Telhio offers a variety of innovative programs, services and products to support its members’ financial needs. Telhio offers 9 branching offices throughout Central and Southwestern Ohio and nearly 4,000 shared branching locations nationwide. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender. NMLS #251831