Making Your Dollar Stretch Further This Holiday Season

Autumn ushers in the holiday season, bringing the silly and spooky Halloween times. Soon it will time to cook a turkey and drive over the river to Grandmother’s house, and before you know it, you’ll be decking the halls and caroling as you go. The holidays are a fun and exciting time, full of traditions and memories. At the same time, many people find the holidays to be a stressful time full of obligations and spending a lot of money. The good news is that it does not have to be the most stressful time of the year and it does not have to break the bank, either.

There are several ways to make your dollar stretch further during the holidays:

–          Take advantage of sales. This time of year you can find excellent deals and items that you really need. Just be careful not to start buying stuff you don’t need, simply because of the great deal. It’s wise to make a game plan of the items you need and the stores where you’re going to go, just so you can be sure you stick to your list and won’t get swayed to make unnecessary purchases or make unnecessary stops.

–          Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean that you have to compensate by making your home feel like a tropical island. You can cut way down on utilities by keeping your home at a comfortable temperature, and putting on a sweater if you feel a chill.

–          As always, setting a budget is a great way to keep track and decide on your expenses. Try using UCCU’s Money Manager on the Personal Branch to help you visualize your budget. When shopping for gifts, make a list at the beginning of the season of persons to whom you’d like to a give a gift, and then list the dollar amount you will spend on each individual person. This will help you sort out your projected expenses and will also help you be more accountable to yourself. Don’t forget the little niceties, such as a gift for the postman or your cubicle-mate.

All in all, the season is about giving and sharing and love and family. Remember that even though you may feel the need to get the most expensive gifts or throw the most elaborate holiday party, it’s absolutely not necessary to do so in order to enjoy all the wonderful things this season as to offer.

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