With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other holiday sales, the most popular shopping season is now upon us. Whether you’re shopping online or heading to the store, keep these five smart shopping tips in mind. Your savings account will thank you for it.
Create a Holiday Budget
This can be a simple budget. Based on your current account balance, you may have a number that you don’t want to exceed, or you may have a limit for each person you need to buy for. However you create your budget, just be sure to stick to it — no matter what.
Shop Around for the Best Price
Just because you find an item 30% off at one store, doesn’t mean you won’t find it 40% off at another. It’s easy to shop around online, but if you’re going to the store, do some online research beforehand.
Sign up for Emails
Many retailers will offer a discount just to sign up for emails. And as the holiday season approaches you’re likely to receive exclusive email offers that will help you save even more money on gifts.
Avoid Using a Credit Card (Alternative: Personal Loan)
Credit cards seem like the obvious choice for holiday shopping, right? They have rewards and discounts. But be cautious because credit cards have high interest rates (the average is 16.14% APR¹). If you can only make the minimum payment each month, your debt will take a long time to clear.
Start a Holiday Club Savings Account
The best way to handle holiday shopping is to prepare early. Our Holiday Club Savings Accounts are designed to help you save for holiday spending. You open an account and set up a direct deposit to add money throughout the year. On Oct. 1, your money is available to you via transfer³. This is how quickly it can build up over 26 paydays:
· $5/payday = $130
· $10/payday = $260
· $20/payday = $520
· $50/payday = $1,300
For more advice on how to spend, save, and manage your money through the holidays, see our 2017 Holiday Smart Shopping Guide.
¹ The average national credit card rate is 16.14% APR as of 10/5/17 from www.creditcards.com.
² Annual Percentage Rate. Rates valid as of 10/18/2017. Enter Promotion Code HOLIDAY50 in the application process for the lowest available rate of 5.88% APR. Borrow $10,000 at 5.88% APR for 60 monthly payments of $96.39 or $19.28 per $1,000 borrowed. Minimum loan amount $5,000, maximum loan amount $20,000. Rate includes a 1% discount for active checking*, and a 2% discount for automatic payments. Other loan rates and terms available. Standard non promotional rates begin at 8.99% APR. Loan subject to approval and qualifications. Rate may vary on individual credit terms and relationship level. Certain restrictions may apply. Not valid on tuition expenses and interest is not tax deductible. Does not apply to loans currently financed with Connexus Credit Union. Rates subject to change. Offer valid 10/18/17 to 11/27/17.
³ Preauthorized automatic transfers, telephone transfers or withdrawals, electronic banking withdrawals and transfers prohibited. Funds will be automatically transferred annually to the savings account on October 1.
* Active checking is defined as having at least one (1) Direct Deposit of net pay, including salary, wages, government benefits, or pension made to the account each month; having ten (10) checks, ACH withdrawals, and/or debit card transactions clear the account by the last business day of each month; and electing to receive eStatements. ATM transactions not included.