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Early Holiday Shopping? Here Is How You Can Budget!

a stack of wrapped gifts
Nicholas Mattaliano, Digital Communications Administrator AffinityFCU
By: Nicholas Mattaliano
Digital Communications Administrator

Date: October 7, 2022

The holiday season is coming up, which for many people means debt. This year, many people are facing more financial difficulties than previously, due to the ongoing economic uncertainty around hyperinflation and lingering supply chain issues. But there are ways to celebrate this time of year without “breaking the bank.” To help kick off the season, here is some advice on how to budget and save money for the holidays from Affinity.

Create a holiday budget
How should you set up your holiday budget? Begin by making a list of all your expected holiday expenses. This includes gifts, cards, wrapping paper, travel expenses, food and baking supplies, gift exchanges at work and charitable donations. Creating this budget will give you a basic idea of things you need to pay for, so you can save accordingly. Many people only budget for gifts and wonder why money is tight (or why their December credit card balance is so high once they get their bill in January) because they forget about all the incidentals that add up around the holidays.

You also should make sure you take monthly bills and expenses into account before the holiday budget is created. You should never replace a monthly expense or bill to accommodate for the holidays. The holidays are not a reason to miss a bill payment!

Use cash or debit – or a credit card that earns you cash-back, rewards points or a low APR
When holiday shopping, try to stick to using cash or a debit card rather than putting everything on a credit card. Credit cards can worsen your post-holiday debt situation, both directly by making you pay more in interest and indirectly by helping you put the amount you’re spending out of mind. When the money for holiday expenses comes directly out of your pocket or account, you’re more likely to spend carefully. But if you do use a credit card, make sure you have a card with low interest rates and generous cash back rewards. If you have an Affinity Pure Rewards Visa or Affinity Cash Rewards Visa, Signature Credit Card, you’ll earn generous cash back or rewards points and other great benefits on all of your holiday purchases. We also offer a limited time 0% APR on purchases made between October 1 and December 31, 2022, with our Premium Visa. This rate is held on these purchases through June 30, 2023, giving you extra time to plan out and pay for your holiday related expenses without accruing hefty interest rate charges.4

Take advantage of sales and special offers
Amazon prime day early access sale will be October 11-12. You can find great deals on sale for you to purchase those gifts you might have second guessed if they were in the store at regular price. Now financial caution around the holidays is healthy and necessary, but don’t let it dampen your holiday spirit. If you follow these budgeting and cost-saving tips, you’ll have a happy season and a happy New Year, even when you review your bills in January!

This information is for informational purposes only and is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal, tax, or financial advice. Each person’s circumstances are different and may not apply to the specific information provided. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant, and/or legal counsel to discuss your specific needs before making any financial or other commitments regarding the matters related to your condition are made.  

  4. APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Promotional rate of 0% APR will apply to all purchases made using your Premium card from October 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022, and will continue on balances from these purchases until June 30, 2023. On July 1, 2023, your current APR at that time will apply to any remaining balances. Your interest rate will be variable and based on the Wall Street Journal Prime Rate. Maximum rate of 18.00% may apply. Balance transfers and cash advances are not eligible for the promotional rate offer. Offer and rates subject to change without notice. Other terms and conditions may apply.