Mindy Brouwer, VP of Consumer Lending, joined us on the podcast to give some holiday spending tips to help your shopping be less stressful and much merrier!
How should I start saving for holiday spending?
It’s something that comes up every year and we’re always looking forward to December 25. I feel that the best time to start saving for the holidays in January or right after the current holiday season.
How do I figure out what my holiday spending limit should be?
You should look at how much you spent this year. Is it realistic for you to spend the same amount next year? Will the gift-giving and the type of events that you might be attending be the same? Tally up the receipts or look through your bank statements and really figure out what you spent this year. You should be able to determine a budget for next year.
How much should I spend on gifts for coworkers or friends?
There’s not only friends and office giving but also think about the person that picks up your garbage or your child’s teacher. I think the best advice about office giving and gift exchanges with friends would be to predetermine an amount amongst you. You definitely don’t want any hurt feelings. I think if you’re giving with good intention, it doesn’t matter the amount.
What’s the best way to create a holiday budget?
You have to think about more than gift-giving going into your budget. What about travel? Gift wrapping? Are you going to be attending some functions where you’ve had to purchase additional gifts? Will there be beverages or food items to purchase at parties? Are you hosting? Are you going to need to bring a dish somewhere? What about mailing expenses? Holidays may look a little different this year as you might not be getting together in person. You might be mailing gifts that you haven’t had to in the past. These things should be part of your budget.
What is the holiday savings account through Voyage?
It’s basically a savings account that is designated for the holidays. You can deposit money into it all year long. Around the first of December, we take that money and transfer it into your checking account. So you have the ability to save all year long, use the budget, and then it’s available for you at the holidays to use. I myself have it set up as a payroll deduction. I look through previous years and determine the amount that I feel is accurate.
How do I resist the temptation of overspending during the holidays?
The holiday season is an emotional time and it feels good to give to people. You have to ask yourself, “How do I pay for these extras?” Things can also come up that you haven’t budgeted for like that one special gift for your spouse or child that you can’t resist. If you don’t have the savings to do it, maybe use a low-interest credit card, but don’t spend more than you can’t pay off within a month or two.
Is it smart to Black Friday shop?
If you have specific items you’ve been eyeing, especially large ticket items, I think that Black Friday is a great day to watch for those sales. Every place has their ads out well ahead of time. I would caution you though, to not just head out your front door on Black Friday and get yourself into trouble with impulse buys. Just because it’s a great deal doesn’t mean you need it.
Let us help you start saving for the holidays today. Maybe you haven’t started shopping for this holiday season or maybe you’re already done and ready to plan for next year! Either way, we’re here to help. Open a holiday savings account online, or give us a call at 605.338.2533.