How Not to Blow Your Budget This Holiday Season

Monday, December 12, 2016 | 7:20 pm

If you are tired of starting the New Year with a pile of debt, Shop smart and you can enjoy the holidays without putting yourself in the poorhouse! Here are 5 the most important tips to help you make the most of your time and money:

1. Make a list and check it twice – armed with your budget, make a list of all the people you want to buy for. Then go over the list and decide how much you can spend on each, Edelman suggests. Don’t have enough money to cover your holiday budget? Go through it again and cut names or amounts. Once you settle on a dollar amount for each person, that’s it.

2. Pay cash – Set a limit, take that money out of your credit union or bank and when that money is gone, it’s over. Or, if you don’t feel comfortable with large sums of cash, load a pre-paid debit card to make sure you stick to your budget.

3. Think of credit cards as short-term loans - Ideally, you’ll want to pay everything off immediately. Have a choice of cards? Always use the card that offers the lowest interest rate. A good idea is to track your credit card spending just as you would if you were writing a check. Remember: It’s really easy in the flurry of the holiday spending to run around and not keep track.

4. Allow enough time for all your holiday preparations
Who hasn’t run out for a gift at the last minute and ended up paying top dollar? But whether you’re shopping, baking or wrapping presents to send cross-country, budgeting your time can end up saving you tons of money.

5. Take a vacation – Resorts and cruise ships are hurting for business. If you want to get away, you will see all kinds of hotels offering truly unprecedented bargains
But shop around. The same room at the same hotel can fetch vastly different prices depending on how it is booked. Look up the hotel online, through a broker and through the hotel chain’s website; chances are the prices will be different, and you might need the special codes listed on those sites to get the deal.

6. Consider a Holiday loan – With rates as low as 3.99% APR*, you can apply for a 12 month loan to help you get through the holiday season. It’s a great alternative to high-rate credit cards or Pay Day loans.

Call (877) 297-4707 or visit their website http://www.mypsfcu.org. You can also stay in touch with them nFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/mypsfcu, Twitter: @PasadenaServFCU, and Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/pasadena-service-federal-credit-union-pasadena. Visit PSFCU’s offices at 670 N. Rosemead Blvd Pasadena, CA 91107, their Vernon branch at 2529 S. Santa Fe Ave. Vernon, CA 90058, or their Covina branch at 301 E. Rowland St. Covina, CA 91723.

*On approved credit. Actual rate may be higher. APR: Annual Percentage Rate. Certain terms and restrictions apply. Offer valid through 1/31/17.

 

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