While the holiday season is a time full of surprises, don’t let financial stress be one of them. So sit back and relax with a warm cup of hot chocolate as we share advice to get you all the way to the new year with a heavy wallet.

  • Take advantage of freebies

    Here’s something that can save you money and time -- Don’t pay for gift wrap. Many retailers offer free gift wrapping with each purchase. Another easy-to-avoid expense is shipping. Many retailers offer free shipping once you purchase a minimum amount, such as $50. Lastly, entertainment is typically easy to come by during the holidays. Be on the lookout for free concerts, holiday parades, and stroll through your neighborhood to look at Christmas lights and decor.

  • Start saving early

    Open a separate bank account before the holiday season begins and direct a small portion of each paycheck there. With each deposit into that account, you are one step closer to purchasing a gift for a loved one or making your annual donation to a charity. The best part, you can open an account at any time and begin saving months in advance.

  • Have a plan and stick to it

    Start by creating a budget for yourself. With that budget, you can set an estimated amount for each person you wish to give gifts to. This will help you understand just how much you are capable and willing to spend this season. Don’t forget to include wiggle room in your budget for extra expenses such as childcare, travel costs, etc.

  • Avoid impulse buying

    Impulse buying is common during the holidays. We tend to over-buy in the face of sales, promos, and discounts. To prevent this, when you see something that you like, take some time to think on it before swapping your debit card.

Use these tips and tricks to get you through the new year. Once you do, stay tuned to our “Insights” page to learn how you can financially recover from your holiday spending.