The holidays are almost here and if you are starting to feel the squeeze on your wallet you aren’t alone. In 2022, it’s forecast that consumers plan to spend $1,430 on gifts, travel and entertainment.* This is similar to 2021 but up 20% since 2020.
In a year with such high inflation, your money won’t go as far as it did last year. So how can you slow down your spending before it adds up to something you can’t afford? We have tips to help:
  • Create a budget – before you venture out sit down and create a realistic budget. Write down everyone you need to buy for and how much you plan to send. Set aside categories for entertainment, travel and entertaining (if you plan to host). Not good at creating spreadsheets? Utilize free resources through Google or buy an inexpensive tracker on Etsy.
  • Do Your Research – Now that you know how much you want to spend, do your research before you hit a store or ‘add to cart.’ Comparing prices can help you save, even if it’s a few dollars. A few dollars saved on each gift adds up in the long run.
  • Use Cash Instead of Cards – To stay on track and avoid interest fees use cash/debit instead of a credit card to pay. When these expenses automatically come out of your account you are less likely to overspend.
  • Consider A Gift Exchange – Big family? Lots of friends? Instead of buying for everyone consider a gift exchange or a Secret Santa. This is a great way to ensure everyone gets a gift without spending hundreds of dollars.
  • DIY Gifts Where Possible – Try cooking or crafts! Everyone appreciates a nice tray of cookies or something you made from the heart.
  • Ask Everyone to Bring a Dish – If you are hosting, make it potluck. This will significantly cut down on your expenses and it gives your guests a chance to show off their best recipe.
If you want to make this process easier next year, consider opening a Holiday Club from Sikorsky Credit Union to save!