How to Manage Your Holiday Purchases
Posted on October 12, 2017
Topic Categories: Consumer Help, Credit Cards
By Michael Mason - Vice President, Lending
The holidays seem to arrive faster every year. As a result, planning and budgeting for your gift purchases is more important than ever.
As a consumer, the most important thing you can do is establish a budget. Determine a number that will allow you to get the gifts you want to give, without affecting your ability to cover your usual household expenses – or going too deeply into debt.
Once you’ve established how much you can spend, how will you pay for your holiday purchases? Here are some options:
- Plan ahead with a designated savings account. Many financial institutions like Cinfed offer Christmas Club accounts, which allow you to make automatic deposits of money throughout the year. Once the holiday shopping season arrives (sometime after October 1), you’ll have access to the total amount for your purchases. If you didn’t do it last year, now is the time to open an account to begin saving for next year.
- Apply for a personal loan. Personal loans can be a solution if you haven’t built enough savings to make all your holiday purchases in cash. The advantages to a seasonal personal loan, such as Cinfed’s Christmas Loan, are that the interest rates may be lower and the terms shorter than other types of loans. As with all loans, personal loans are subject to approval.
- Use your Cinfed Credit Card. Credit cards can be a convenient and effective way to make purchases. All of Cinfed’s credit cards offer either reward points or cash back. While using your credit card for your holiday purchases, be careful with the amount you charge and ensure you can pay the balance in timely fashion – otherwise your holiday bills may linger far into the new year.
To keep more cash on hand during the holidays, consumers who qualify can take advantage of “skip a payment” promotions. Typically, these allow you to skip a monthly loan payment for a small fee. However, the month “skipped” will be added to the end of the installment agreement, and interest will likely continue to accrue.
Knowing your options means you can effectively manage your gift purchases. Having a good plan helps relieve the burden of financial concerns – and lets you enjoy the holiday even more!