Americans are expected to spend an average of $785 on gifts this holiday season according to Gallup’s October spending forecast.* In addition, 31% plan to spend $1,000 or more.* If you’re concerned about how much you spend during the holidays, here are some tips to keep your holiday spending down:
Write a list and set a budget. First, make a list of all the people you’d like to give gifts to and the maximum amount you’d be willing to spend for each person. Add up the total amount and see if it matches what you would be able to afford to spend. If not, review the list and remove names or lower the spending limits.
A great way to automatically save and meet next year’s Christmas budget is through a Merchants Winter FUNd account. Automated deposits from your checking, savings or payroll are made to the Club account January through October. Accrued interest is paid on Winter FUNd balances the first business day of November and funds are disbursed the same day. It’s an “out of sight, out of mind” way to save.
Pay with cash. It’s easy to get carried away with holiday spending, especially if you have trouble controlling how often you use your credit cards. If you are tempted to overspend by putting holiday purchases on your credit card, try carrying cash instead. You’ll feel the weight of each purchase more when you hand the cashier physical money instead of a card.
Give thoughtful, personalized gifts. What can you get for the person who has everything? Consider what they might feel is meaningful or useful. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a day’s outing with you, instead of another trinket. Or giving a service, such as baby-sitting or mowing the lawn, can be an inexpensive and effective alternative.
To learn more about how a Merchants Bank Winter FUNd can help prepare you for the holidays next year, visit our website. Our customers also use a Winter FUNd account to help pay for increased heating expenses over the winter, family vacations, home decorating projects and much more.