New Year’s Resolution: Control 2017 Holiday Spending

Over the next month or so, the bills of Christmas come home.

Fortunately, more Americans are shopping smarter and putting fewer purchases on credit cards – and that means fewer families will start 2017 with a budget deficit.

Controlling holiday spending is really no secret. Start planning now for the next holiday, and you’ll be better off at this time next year.

How much did you spend this year? The average adult spent about $900 on Christmas gifts this year. Gather together your holiday shopping receipts and add up the total. Most people are surprised to learn they spent more than they thought.

Put away money for next year. Save as much as possible ahead of time. Credit Unions have “secondary savings accounts” – your deposits can be automatic, and in 12 short months, you can save a substantial amount.

Pay off this Christmas as soon as you can. You need to greet the New Year with as little debt as possible. Do everything you can to avoid interest payments and pay off your credit cards quickly. Transfer balances from high rate credit cards to lower rate cards and you could save hundreds in interest.

Cut costs. Make a list. Include everyone you’ve bought gifts for and how much you spent. Then go through the list and think about what will happen if you removed someone from your list. You don’t really have to get everyone a gift. Instead, buy some cards, write warm notes inside, and save yourself from debt.

It’s your money. By the time the holidays roll back around, you’ll have saved more money than you need since you started saving early and reduced expenses. Next holiday season your pockets may be full.

Be better off in the New Year. Join Fresno County Federal Credit Union and you’ll be receive highly personalized service, low rate credit cards, mobile banking, checking and savings without monthly fees, and the essential services you need to manage your finances with ease. For more information about membership in Fresno County Federal Credit Union, visit www.FresnoCU.com.