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The countdown to Christmas has begun and the to-do lists are getting longer.  Did you know, in December Americans will:

·     Buy more than 30 million Christmas trees

·     Eat more than 22 million turkeys

·     Mail more than 17.9 billion cards, letters and packages

·     Spend more than $1 trillion on holiday gifts.

With all that’s going on the holidays can feel like a marathon and one that stretches your budget as well as your perseverance.  With a little planning and a few tips, you can finish this marathon with the happy memories instead of a pile of debt.  Below are our tips to help you keep your spending and to-do list on track.

Be a smart shopper

Gift giving takes a ton of effort and money, especially if you are having trouble paring down your gift list.  If your list doesn’t jive with your desire to spread Christmas joy here are some strategies for saving on your holiday shopping.  A few ideas for gift giving on a budget may be helpful as well.

Track your packages

Online shopping makes your life easier.  All you have to do is click and then wait for the package to arrive at your door.  What if the packages arrive when you are away? With over $100 billion in packages delivered to homes this month, this can be a tempting target for thieves. There are many ways to protect your holiday deliveries from the so called “porch bandits”.  Some may include having your packages shipped to your work or leaving special instructions for the delivery driver. 

Protect your identity

You not only have to protect yourself from “porch bandits” but it’s important to watch out for cyber thieves. They may not steal your packages from the front door, but they may hack into your computer and steal your credit card number or other important personal data.  These tips can protect you while shopping online.

Restore yourself in time to do it again next year

What if you did go a little overboard on the holiday spending this year?  It can happen to anyone!  Now you need a holiday recovery plan.  These tips will help you evaluate your post-holiday financial situation, pay-off any remaining debt and start saving for next year.

Now that we’ve shared holiday survival tips, you can sit back, relax and coast through the holidays. Well, you may not be coasting but you can at least enjoy the season knowing you’ve got your finances under control. 

Looking for more ways to shop responsibly?  Check out our Holiday Loans!  Rates start as low as 6.0% APR, which is lower than most credit cards!  This makes an the thoughtful and responsible way to give. Also, with a flexible 12-month term, you can be sure your loan will be paid off in a year!

Happy Holidays from allU.S. Credit Union!