Save Now For A Merrier Christmas
There are two types of people in this world – the ones who get excited because Christmas is less than six months away - and those who roll their eyes, cringing at the very thought because Christmas is just six months away.
Like it or not, the seasons fly by quickly and there’s no stopping the passage of time. Another troubling fact is that Christmas seems to grow more expensive every year for those who celebrate the season with beloved traditions.
Each year, millions of Americans borrow money from their future selves just to fund the holidays. That means they begin the new year digging themselves out of a financial hole and worried about how long it will take to pay off all those gifts. This year is on track to be worse since inflation is hitting many households hard from the pump to the dinner table and everywhere in between.
All of this got us to thinking about cutting costs, saving money, preparing for big events, and yes, still having a fun holiday season. PS - These tips are great for anyone who needs to cut expenses or build their savings right now!
Look For Waste – Is there waste in your daily habits? If you are paying five bucks a month for a streaming service you rarely use, that doesn’t sound like much. But in six months, that adds up to $30 which could be used for a gift or a few stocking stuffers. Are you eating out a lot? Cut one $25 restaurant meal every month and that’s $150 before Christmas. If you’re tossing tons of leftovers or if you know that stalk of celery always languishes in the back of the fridge, it’s time to reduce what you’re buying. You may also find ways to reinvent leftovers or want to just give up the ghost on that celery.
Get Rewarded – How would you like to earn cash back for spending your own money? You can do this with a VCNB Rewards Checking Debit Card which allows you to earn uChoose® Rewards Points. You’ll earn one point for every $3 spent with your debit card and 200 bonus points for 21 or more purchases each statement cycle. These points can be redeemed for cashback, gift cards, travel and products! With our Visa® Platinum Credit Card you’ll earn one point for every dollar spent and can redeem those points for gift cards, event tickets, products, travel and more!
Dig Deep For Big Ways To Save (Or Earn) – Take an honest look at every line item in your budget. When was the last time you shopped car insurance? You may find better coverage for less simply by asking your insurance agent to look at your policy. Maybe it’s time to refinance your home or sell an extra car that you don’t need. Gather up unloved and unneeded items for a yard sale. Find a side hustle to earn some extra cash like mowing lawns in the neighborhood or a weekend gig at a local store. You may not feel enthusiastic about these sacrifices right now but it may be worth it to see your savings balance grow.
Set Up A Separate Savings Account – Keep your holiday money separate from your spending money with a dedicated savings account. You can easily use Online Banking and VCNB Mobile to transfer funds on demand or automatically from your checking account to your savings. While you can still access your funds, having them in a separate savings account means they aren’t just a card swipe away. Plus, it’s encouraging to watch your balance grow.
Coin Counters – Yes, it’s old school but don’t forget to save your change! Several of our branches have coin counters so you can just bring your bag, bucket or piggy bank full of change to dump in the machine. You save it, the machine will count it!
Even after all your hard work, you may still have to pay for some things on credit. Maybe you will choose instead to embrace the adage that less is more while you cut some of the extravagances. Obviously, these are your choices to work through but we hope you’re inspired to examine the habits that influence your spending and to reconsider expenses you normally keep on autopilot.
You work hard for your money. Make sure it’s working for you too!