Holiday Spending Tips

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 10:53 AM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – First Alliance Credit Union’s Director of Brand & Digital Member Experience, Jenna Taubel, joined Midwest Access Monday. She shared some holiday spending tips.

1) Tip 1: Set a Spending Limit Before You Start Shopping

a. Our Expert Advice: Max of 5% of your annual income for your holiday expenses

b. Consider all the extras in this budget too, it’s not just gifts, you also need to include the cost of items such as:

c. Tree

d. Decorations

e. Wrapping Paper

f. Food (baking, holiday meals)

g. Shipping/Mailing

h. Travel

Tip 2: Prioritize Your Giving List Based on Your Spending Limit

a. Our Expert Advice: Split 75% of budget for family, 15% for friends, 10% to any others on your list

b. First Alliance has a gift-planning worksheet on our website that can help you keep track of these costs and organize your gift giving

c. Access the free download here.

Tip 3: Take Time to Comparison Shop

a. Our Expert Advice: Compare prices in at least 3 places before purchasing a gift

b. Do a quick online search for the item on your list

c. There’s lots of apps that can help you with comparison shopping now, such as BuyVia and Mycartsaving

d. Stores tend to have deals going on throughout the shopping season (it’s not just on Black Friday and Cyber Monday anymore)

e. Make sure to factor in shipping costs when comparing prices between in-store and online purchases.

Tip 4: It’s Okay to Use Financing Options (But There’s Some Rules)

a. Our expert advice: Avoid the Buy Now, Pay Later option at online check-outs, use a credit card instead.

b. It’s very easy to lose track of how much you’ve spent and what you will ultimately owe come Jan, if you use BNPL across multiple sites

c. Using a single credit card to make purchases can help you keep track of your spending and help you stay on budget easier.

d. Rules to Using Your Credit Card for Holiday Shopping

e. Rule 1: You still need to know your spending limits

f. Rule 2: You need to have a plan to pay off the balance

Tip 5: Don’t Try to “Out Gift” Each Other

a. Our Expert Advice: Decide with your family ahead of time a price range for gifts.

b. This helps everyone stay on budget

c. Stops gift giving from turning into a competition

d. Can create opportunities to get more creative with your gift giving

More details here.