When it comes to holiday shopping, the best way to save money and get the best bargains for your budget is to plan ahead. There is no reason why people need to start the New Year in debt from all the holiday shopping they did for family and friends. Your credit union in New Bedford can help. While many banks have abandoned the idea of inviting customers to save for holiday shopping each year, St Anne Credit Union still offers its members the opportunity to save with a Christmas Club Savings Account.
In addition to saving money throughout the year in this simple credit union savings account, members can also use other strategies to ensure that they do not get themselves into debt. Part of the advantage associated with joining a local credit union and opening up a New Bedford CU account is that you gain the benefit of working with customer service agents who are truly on your side. Contact your local office or stop in for a visit to discuss even more ways that you can start putting money aside to grow it for future purchases.
Setting a Budget
In addition to opening your Christmas Club Savings Account it is important to set a budget on how much money you will spend. Planning the amount of money that you will contribute to your credit union savings account throughout the year can help. For example, if you want to spend $1000 on holiday shopping, you would need to put approximately $100 into your Christmas Club Savings Account at St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford in order to have that amount available to you at the end of the year.
You might be thinking that $100 times 12 months in a whole year is $1200, but the truth is that the money put into a Christmas Club Savings Account is automatically transferred into your regular credit union savings account or checking account in October, giving you time to start shopping all of the pre-season sales and take advantage of Black Friday deals. So if you need more money for your shopping without having to dip into your regular credit union savings account or use a credit card that will rack up debt in the New Year, you should start by putting more money aside each month throughout the year.
Make a List Before You Go Shopping
How many people do you have to buy for? Are some of those people part of a family, work or neighborhood gift exchange? Is there a set amount for spending on those gifts? Making a list of the people that you want to buy gifts for this holiday season, as well as any gift exchanges, gifts for service people, teachers and other individuals in your life, can really help you to stay on budget. Thinking ahead about what your children, grandparents, neighbors and postman might appreciate before you go to the stores will stop you from over-spending.
Make a list of all the people you want to buy for and write next to them the dollar amount you want to spend along with an idea of something you think they would like. Total up the dollar amount and see if it fits in with your budget. Take a week or longer to go over the list, thinking about all of the people in your life so you can avoid making a last minute over-budget purchase for someone you might have forgotten. Not only will this help you save money, but it will also help make your shopping experience easier if you know what you want before you set foot in a single store.
Pay in Cash
Another trick that money counselors recommend for people who are trying to stay on budget during the holiday season is to pay for your purchases in cash. Using a debit card or credit card is a great way to spend without really thinking about what it costs. Adding a little extra item here and there can quickly blow the budget you set within your credit union savings account. Stop by your local credit union in New Bedford and pull out the cash you need for a shopping trip. Keep the money in an envelope with your list and keep track of what you spend. Put the receipt from each shop into the envelope and go over your spending when you get back home.
There are some instances where paying with cash is impossible. Online shopping, which can often save you a lot of money compared to prices at the local level, requires the use of a debit or credit card. Use the debit card from your New Bedford CU account whenever possible, resisting the urge to put “one or two little things” on a credit card. Remember, the goal here is to have happy holidays for all – including yourself. No one wants to start the New Year out with a pile of debt that they have to work hard to pay off the rest of the year.
Visit St Anne Credit Union for More Holiday Savings Opportunities
Whether you are interested in learning more about the Christmas Club Savings Account option at your local credit union in New Bedford or if you would like to open a credit union savings account to prepare for other large purchases or spending throughout the year, stop by St Anne Credit Union. Our customer service agents can help you plot your savings path for holiday shopping, purchasing a new vehicle, paying for college or buying a home. Whatever your goals, St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford can help.