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8 Tips to Survive & Thrive Financially During the Holidays

Updated: Jun 18, 2019

A smiling piggy bank with glasses uses a calculator with a Christmas tree and a lit fireplace in the background.

The holidays are just around the corner and many of us are starting to feel some anxiety over holiday spending. Consumer data shows that consumers spend more money on gifts, entertainment and travel during the holiday season than any period of the year.

Unfortunately, that spending is often done on credit cards with high interest rates. Using credit cards to pay for major holiday expenses can lead to serious debt levels and potential financial issues for months and possibly for years to come.

The best possible strategy to pay for holiday shopping is by cash, check or debit card. By doing this, you will avoid finance charges from credit card bills. Use your credit card only when you must. If you end up having to use it for holiday expenses, pay it off as quickly as possible. By doing so, you can avoid large interest charges. If you can't do that, pay as much of the bill as you can each month.

Another great way to stay out of a financial crisis is to seriously limit your spending in the first place. Here are some tips to help you get started.

1. Cut your gift list.

A sure-fire way to manage your holiday spending is to give gifts to fewer people. Make it known to family and friends that you will be reducing your gift exchange list. It takes planning but if you are upfront about your reduced holiday gifting, people will understand.

2. Make your own gifts.

Homemade treats or crafts are always welcomed and appreciated.

3. Provide services.

If you’re not crafty, give a coupon for your services (such as babysitting, yard maintenance or whatever your skills include).

4. Create a budget.

This takes some discipline but in the long run, spending within your budget will help you through the holidays by reducing the possibility of serious debt.

5. Stick to your budget.

This takes some discipline but in the long run, spending within your budget will help you through the holidays by reducing the possibility of serious debt.

6. Start your shopping early.

This takes some planning but will help you stick to your budget and pay off financially in the long run. Many stores offer good deals before the official holiday shopping season starts, which traditionally starts on the day after Thanksgiving.

7. Keep an eye out for bargains.

There is evidence that there are major price variations -- often 50 percent or more -- in the same area for identical products, especially audio-video and computer equipment.

8. Don’t buy unnecessary warranties.

Shy away from buying an extended warranty or service contract for products. Extended warranties often times duplicate the existing warranty and are rarely worth the extra expense.

Select FCU Solutions

If you’re doing your best to save money but still need some extra cash to manage your finances through the holiday season, Select Federal Credit Union has several options to make it as stress free as possible.

Auto Recapture Loan

Members can transfer their auto loan to Select FCU and skip a payment or two which frees

up extra cash for holiday expenses. If they refinance prior to Christmas, they won’t have a payment until after the new year or 45 days later.

Holiday Skip-A-Pay

This membership benefit allows members to skip their auto loan payment for the month of December. A $20 processing fee applies.

Title Loan

Members who own their car title, may use their vehicle title to borrow for any kind of expense at a much lower rate than a payday or car title lender.

Select Cash Now $500

This is a fast cash loan that doesn’t require a credit check. To qualify for the fast cash loan, members need to be account holders for at least two months, have worked at least one year within their line of work and have no active bankruptcy.

Using these tools, along with managing your finances effectively during the holidays, can go a long way in reducing stress. If you’re not a member of Select but are still interested in these services, you can access these benefits by simply becoming a member. To find out if you are eligible for membership, click here. To get more information on the holiday financial solutions, call (210) 223-6561.

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