The holidays have a way of sneaking up on a lot of us. In all the back-to-school flurry, it’s easy to forget that they’re right around the corner. Between the shopping, the decorating and more last-minute shopping, getting caught unprepared can lead to rash spending decisions that will leave you overextended.
Although 65 percent of U.S. shoppers set a holiday budget, three in four admit they’ll probably exceed it—some by as much as $250. But that doesn’t have to be you this year. If you start now, you can save up in advance so you don’t end up overcommitting your paycheck or racking up debt buying gifts.
An OCCU Holiday/Tax Savings Account is a powerful tool to help you keep a leash on your holiday spending. Instead of tossing your holiday funds in with the rest of your savings, or letting it mingle with the bill money in your checking account, you can set it aside in a dedicated savings account, which allows you to:
Save automatically. It’s a busy time of year, and you’ve got a lot to keep track of. You can put your holiday savings on autopilot by setting up automatic transfers from your checking account. You choose the amount, and we’ll do the rest. By the time the holidays roll around, you’ll have saved up without even realizing it.
Set a clear budget. Budgeting becomes easier when you know exactly how much you have to spend. With a holiday savings fund, you can easily track your spending and see at a glance how much room you have left in your budget. Keeping your holiday money separate from your day-to-day funds makes it easier to stay disciplined and avoid overspending.
More holiday savings tips
Once you’ve set up your OCCU Holiday/Tax Savings Account, here are a few more ways to keep your holiday spending on track:
- Cut back on one purchase you regularly make, such as your daily coffee.
- Establish inexpensive traditions like touring the neighborhood Christmas lights, making crafts, volunteering together and watching holiday movies at home with hot cocoa.
- Make your holiday meal a potluck.
- Don’t leave home without your shopping list and never go to stores just to see what they have.
- Start comparison-shopping now so you’ll know where to snag the best deals.
The holidays are notorious for busting budgets, but yours doesn’t have to be one of them. With a little advanced planning, you can enjoy your holidays in style and on budget.