With the holiday shopping season coming up, it can be very easy to come up with an excuse to break your budget and splurge. This year, why not break that habit and save your bank account with these timely tips.
Decide how much you can spend
Before doing any holiday shopping you need to first create a budget before you go to the store. One big mistake that people often make is overlooking the little extras while drafting their budget. Include everything that you will need to shop for the holidays.
Make a list and check it twice
After you produce your budget, now is the time to come up with the list of people that you want to buy presents for. Then go over the list and see how much you can spend on each person. If you don’t have enough money to shop for everyone on your list then you can decide to do a couple of things:
- You could cut names off the list of people that you are buying presents for and/or
- Limit the amount of money you are spending on each person… put a maximum amount that you will spend on each person.
Try to limit opening department store cards
Opening too many store cards too quickly can hurt your credit score. This is because loan seeking activities tend to depress scores. Most credit reports look at both number of hard inquiries and the number of newly opened accounts, and if there are too many in a short time-frame, this will hurt your credit score. An evaluation of your new accounts makes up about 10 percent of your score, according to FICO, the creator of the most widely used credit score. Your score goes down because the scoring formula considers that people opening new accounts may soon take on more debt, which increases lenders’ risk. Usually the credit cards also have no grace period (or only a short introductory period). As a result, you will be getting charged interest on your purchase the second the new card is activated and used.
The most costly reason though not to open these is the fact that often these credit cards have high interest rates 22.99% is a common APR on such cards. This interest rate means that in about five months, your 10% discount card has been eaten up by the finance charges and a period longer than that means that they are money ahead. Another reason that they are a bad idea is that they often have a very low minimum payment, usually just 3% of the total balance. The problem is that if you just pay the minimum payment, you will be paying the minimum payment for the next 50 years!
Use coupons and discounts
Taking advantage of coupons and discounts is a great way to save money during the holiday season, and for that matter all year round. Some stores offer double coupon days and these savings can really add up fast.
Finding the deals
One of the best ways to find the deals this holiday season is to get on email lists. I know you are probably swamped with pointless emails everyday but this time of year you will be truly thankful to see them. Many retail stores will send exclusive coupons via their email lists. In addition, as the holidays get closer the savings will only increase. And what is the best thing about email lists is that after the holidays are over you can easily unsuscribe from their mailing lists.
And of course, use our services at Day Air!
Day Air offers numerous products and services to help you save for the holidays. One of the savings accounts that we offer is the Holiday Club. The money that is accumulated in the Holiday Club is automatically transferred to your savings or checking account in early November each year. So perhaps start saving for next year today and open a Holiday club.
Day Air also offers mobile, text and mobile check deposit that will save you time and money this holiday season as well. With text banking, you will receive realtime alerts and banking information in a convenient way by simply texting Day Air at IM247 (46247). With mobile banking, you can check balances, transfer funds, receive messages, and more. Mobile deposit enables you to deposit checks by taking a picture with your phone camera! All you have to do is snap it, send it, and it deposits! Check out all of these features.
So keep the stress out of the holiday shopping season and follow these money-saving tips to keep your budget under control. By not overspending this season you will keep the fun alive these holidays and enjoy them.
Geoff Lewis | Marketing Coordinator