Money-Saving Ideas for the Holidays

November 9, 2018 | Lisa Thompson

Money-Saving Ideas for the Holidays

Photo of a couple who have budgheted money for holiday presnts with help from Mission Fed.

With all the costs that pop up during the holidays, Mission Federal Credit Union is always looking for new ideas to help you save money and meet your financial goals. In the spirit of Caring and Sharing and the holiday spirit of giving, we decided to crowdsource some new ideas to help you take saving money to the next level. We asked parent bloggers and industry experts for their favorite money-saving hacks to use around the holidays. Now you can apply these ideas to your holiday spending and throughout the year!

Start earlier than you’d think

Most of us start thinking about holiday shopping in November, perhaps October if you’re a planner. Erica Hartwig, of Organic Moments Weddings, starts her holiday shopping in August. She starts with clothing sales because in Florida, like in San Diego, “Bathing suits and cute summer outfits are perfect all year long.” After school begins, Hartwig looks for sales on items to reinforce and refresh her kids’ organizational skills over winter break. She waits to shop for items her loved ones truly want until October, because “Then I have a few months to find it on sale,” says Hartwig.

Start saving money earlier than you’d think, too. The sooner you start, advises money-saving expert Andrea Woroch, the more you’ll save without impacting your day-to-day life. Start by creating savings goals—in August or September is ideal, but it’s never too late—and use the tools at your disposable to make saving easier. Woroch suggests setting up a weekly automatic transfer of $30 to your Savings Account. Open a Mission Fed Holiday Saver Account to keep you from accidentally dipping into your holiday savings, while also allowing you to categorize your savings and add savings goals through Online Banking. If you start saving just $30 per week in August, you can save about $500 by the holidays!

Shop secondhand and store brand

Gifts don’t have to be expensive or brand new to be meaningful and loved. Both Jill Caponera, Consumer Savings Expert of PromoCodes, and Amanda J. Ponzar, Chief Marketing Officer of Health Charities, suggest scouring thrift stores, used bookstores, garage sales or consignment shops for pre-owned items that are still in excellent shape. You could find a high-price item at a big discount, or score a hard-to-find gem.

Similarly, explore store brands to find good quality items at great prices. Caponera emphasizes that many stores have excellent store brands that offer great quality at a better price than well-known name brands. This can be especially true for clothing, household items and food, and can really save you money when shopping for gifts and planning holiday celebrations.

Use free resources to save

Tangela Walter, a blogger and entrepreneur, stresses that “signing up to receive mailings from stores provides shopping advantages.” Sign up for rewards programs, digital coupons and email lists to learn about sales and special discounts. You’ll often receive email notifications before a sale, special access to sales or special codes or digital coupons as a reward for signing up. And, as Caponera highlights, “Using online coupons is the easiest way to save money on gifts you would have bought anyway.”

Don’t forget to explore the free resources available through your financial institution, too. At Mission Fed, if you have an eligible Credit Card, you could enroll your card in Mission Rewards and earn points to use toward gift cards, shopping, travel, sporting and theater events and more. Use your Mission Fed Credit Card to buy your holiday gifts in the months before the holidays, and then use your earned Mission Rewards to help purchase additional gifts or help fund your travel plans. You can check and redeem points through Online Banking and Mobile Banking at your convenience.

Shop no- or low-cost items

Consider a no- or low-cost gift from the heart. Sara Skirboll, a shopping and trends expert, recommends creating a shopping list. There could be people for whom a small, meaningful gift makes more sense. She says, “Consider instead sending a card with a heartfelt note or giving a less expensive gift like a home-baked treat.” Ponzar also applauds no- or low-cost gifts, suggesting that homemade gifts are especially great for family “when they have pictures of the kids or the kids’ art.” She even suggests creating your own no-cost gift like “coupon books for babysitting, housework, etc.” because “the gift of time is valuable.”

Not sure where to get started on your holiday savings budget? Stop by any of Mission Fed’s more than 30 San Diego County branches and talk with one of our knowledgeable representatives. We can help you open a new Savings Account, enroll your eligible Credit Card in Mission Rewards, make a savings plan and more. Let us help you make saving for the holidays as easy and stress-free as possible. We’re here to help you enjoy the holiday season. At Mission Fed, your success is our bottom line.

The content provided in this blog consists of the opinions and ideas of the author alone and should be used for informational purposes only. Mission Federal Credit Union disclaims any liability for decisions you make based on the information provided. References to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name in this article by Mission Federal Credit Union is for the information and convenience of its readers and does not constitute endorsement, control or warranty by Mission Federal Credit Union.

Picture of Lisa Thompson

Lisa Thompson

Lisa Thompson is VP Compliance at Mission Federal Credit Union. She has been with Mission Fed for over 15 years, and her primary responsibilities include ensuring the credit union remains in compliance with state and federal regulations.

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