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Breezing Through the Holidays

How to have a happy holiday without busting your budget

Whether you're ready or not, the retailers are putting holiday items on display. Do your memories of the holidays last year include stress and overspending? Want to avoid it this year? Here are some tips to help ensure you have a happy and carefree holiday season:

Decide what it is about the holidays that you and your family value
  • Is this a time to reconnect with family and friends? Is it a time for reflection and relaxation? Are parties and entertaining high on your list? Are giving and receiving gifts important to your family? Are religious traditions the focus for you? Are helping the less fortunate at the heart of your holiday?
  • Defining what your family values about the holiday season is key to providing guidelines used in planning for them.
  • Set realistic expectations for yourself and for your children.
Make a plan
  • Set a budget and stick to it – include all holiday expenses (gifts, decorations, cards, postage, travel, gift wrap, entertaining expenses, etc.
  • Make a gift list that includes the people you would like to buy for, a couple of ideas for each person, and a price range. Keep this list with you.
  • Make time! Much of our holiday stress comes from rushing – plan ahead to make time for holiday errands. Perhaps you can take a day off work to handle holiday shopping instead of rushing around after work or joining the masses at the mall on the weekends.
Other tips
  • Know the store's refund or exchange policy and ask for gift receipts.
  • Call the stores first to see if they have what you are looking for – this will save you time, gas money, and frustration!
  • Use the internet and catalogs if you are adverse to the mall crowds but be aware of shipping costs and time frames. This may also save you time at the post office since you can ship directly to the recipient.
  • Divide and conquer! Throw a potluck instead of a full dinner party – it takes some of the pressure and expense off of your shoulders. Or simply throw an appetizer or dessert party instead.
  • Send holiday postcards instead of greeting cards. They are less expensive to purchase and mail.
  • Reduce stress by reducing the amount of social engagements that you commit to, or make plans to meet in January when time is more abundant.
  • Make a New Year's resolution to budget throughout the upcoming year for next year's holiday season!
Help is Available
  • Our financial fitness partner, BALANCE, will help you design a budget, complete with an action plan that will serve as a tool to help you stay in control of your finances. BALANCE services are available to you free of charge as a benefit of your membership at Global Credit Union.
  • Call BALANCE at 888-456-2227 or click here for more information.