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How to Avoid Holiday Overspending

The traditional holiday season has started and your wallet is about to be targeted.

Watch out for the lure of shopping deals – both real and those specially designed to get you into a store in person or online. They can hook you into impulse buys and overspending if you’re not prepared.

And most Americans are not financially prepared. According to CIT Bank’s recent 2018 Holiday Savings Survey, only one in ten consumers have an established account specifically dedicated to holiday savings. Additionally, only one in three consumers report saving consistently for holiday shopping.1

Don’t let the holidays drain your finances.

Here are some simple tips to help you keep control of your holiday spending and not end up going overboard no matter how many lures are thrown your way.

  1. Make a list of the people you want to give to and set a dollar amount for each. Consider your personal financial situation carefully while budgeting how much you will spend on gifts during the holiday season. Before you make any purchases, set a total figure that you’re comfortable with and determine how that money will be distributed for the people on your list. And, remember, you don’t always have to buy a gift. Think of giving baked goods or handmade items if you’re a craftsperson.
  2. Shop around for the best deals. For example, small ticket items might be discounted the week before Christmas while retailers of electronic items might have better offers or coupons online than what is available in-store.
  3. If you do go to a store, buy what you came for and leave. The music, the lights, the sales and the scents can get you excited about the holidays and cause you to spend more than you planned.
  4. Try using a “Secret Santa” concept. Have the adults in your family or a group of friends put their names into a bowl. Each person chooses a name and buys a gift for that person. Set a limit on how much can be spent on the gift then enjoy the get together when gifts are exchanged.

When reviewing your holiday spending ideas and budget, don’t forget gifts for service professionals, such as the mail carrier, the trash collector, your hair stylist, etc. And, of course, be sure to budget for extras, such as wrapping supplies or mailing costs.

If you started a holiday fund last year or several months ago, you may already have your holiday budget well in hand.

If you didn’t, then use these tips and other money-saving ideas to keep your holiday spending under control. And start a holiday fund for next year with the money you save by not overspending this year.

A Savings Builder account from CIT Bank rewards those who build a habit of saving by offering a higher interest rate to account holders who make at least one deposit of $100 or more each month or maintain a minimum monthly balance of $25,000.

Learn more about our Savings Builder account and how to earn the top tier rate.

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