United Community Blog

Spend Smartly

Posted on October 4, 2022

Spend Smartly
Preparing for the holidays in the economy

The holiday shopping season is on its way – and even though the economy may be taking a downward turn, you can have a merry season without blowing your own financial forecast. The key is to incorporate smart spending strategies into your holiday planning. Here are some to try:

Create a list of seasonal expenses first. This will be the first step toward creating your holiday budget. For now, list everything you normally would want to include in your holiday festivities. Once your list is complete, attach budget estimates to each item.

Have a holiday meeting with loved ones. Next, talk with everyone who’s a big part of your holiday festivities – including family and close friends. Talk about what you love doing most around the holidays and what’s not as important. Through this discussion, you may find that there are some costly traditions, foods or other items that just don’t make sense for your holidays or your budget. Plus, you’ll also have a better idea of what to prioritize.

Refine your list and your budget. Taking into consideration the feedback you’ve received, trim out items from your list. Also consider alternative items that can help you spend less. For example, if you normally purchase pies from the bakery, learn to make them ahead of time and freeze them for the big day. Instead of some store-bought gift items, hand-made items may be appreciated just the same – or even more.

Shop the ads and sales. Compare prices at different retailers – both in store and online. Be prepared to shop at multiple stores to take advantage of the best deals. During the holidays, most retailers carry “loss leaders,” products that they put on sale for minimum profit to lure shoppers in for more expensive items. Head for those loss leaders at each store.

Get a low-cost loan for some expenses. With your budget set, it’s now time to apply for a low-cost loan to cover the bulk of your holiday expenses. With a signature loan, you can get a lump sum of cash for those holiday expenses at a rate that’s more affordable than a credit card. Opt for a share secured loan for an even more affordable way to get cash without tapping out your savings.

Shop with a rewards card. This is a great way to get back value on the extra spending you’ll be doing over the shopping season. At United Community, we even offer a rewards Visa® that delivers cash back with no annual fee.

By thinking outside of the gift box, you’ll be able to create a festive holiday season and keep on track with your finances. For more information on how United Community can help you navigate the holidays, call us at 713-674-5778, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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