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Thursday, July 18, 2024

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Five Tips to Avoid Frostbite This Holiday Season

Josie DiEduardo has tips for this upcoming season

By Josie DiEduardo with Crest Savings Bank

Consumers spend more than $700 billion on holiday shopping. With this year’s holiday shopping season launching soon, Crest Saving Bank is highlighting five tips to help consumers keep their holiday spending under control.

With so many people to shop for during the holidays, big sales can make it easy to overextend your finances. It’s essential to map out a holiday spending plan to avoid a financial frostbite in the New Year.

Consider the five habits below to help relieve the financial stress of the holidays: 

· Create a budget and stick to it. Set a dollar amount based on what you can afford this holiday season. Avoid shopping sprees and impulse purchases. Be sure to include a cushion for additional expenses beyond gifts. Keep in mind the end of the year is a time when large annual or semi-annual costs like car insurance, life insurance and property taxes arise. 

· Make a “nice” list. Jot down a list of everyone you plan to give gifts to this year and denote how much you can spend on each person. This list is also a good place to factor in the total amount you plan to donate to charities.  

· Shop early (and shop around). Avoid putting a major strain on your wallet and your sanity by taking advantage of other big holiday sales that happen earlier in the year. This also gives you more time to compare prices and identify the best deals. 

· Save your receipts and monitor your account. Keep track of your expenses and add them up weekly to be sure you’re sticking to your budget. You can also use online and mobile banking features to easily monitor your accounts and pay your bills. Be sure to keep receipts or acknowledgement letters for any charitable donations you have made if you want to receive tax deductions in the spring. 

· Plan ahead for next year. Review how much you spent in this past year and start a dedicated fund for next year’s holiday season. Setting money aside throughout the year will make budgeting for gifts and other holiday expenses easier. 

Jodie DiEduardo, Crest Savings Bank SVP Retail Banking & Facilities 

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