We are getting excited for the holidays at MBT Bank! The lights, food and time with family are some traditions that we can all look forward to. But there is one holiday tradition that we are ready to break – overspending. The time frame for an average consumer to pay off holiday bills is six months according to a report by Myvesta, a financial crisis center. Check out these tips for cutting back on holiday spending without losing spirit.
1. Plan ahead. Get going on your holiday planning now! First, make a list of the friends and family that you usually give a gift to. Then, decide if anyone can be cut from the list. If your nice list includes more than a handful of people outside of your immediate family, consider cutting it down and baking cookies to give those who were snipped from the list.
2. Set limits. It is important to set a budget for each gift that you are planning to buy. For example, if $25 is going to get you a nice sweater for your niece, keep that dollar figure in mind and look for something within your range. It may be necessary to sacrifice small things, like your morning coffee, to save some extra holiday spending money. Don’t spend money that should be going to bills or your rent.
3. Give personalized gifts. Some of your family and friends may want nothing more than a visit from you. A small and thoughtful gift is often more appreciated than something expensive that they may never use. Before you start your shopping, sit down and think about what those on your list could really use. Think small gifts and large hugs.
It can be easy to let debt and spending become the Scrooge that steals from your holiday fun. Remember that this season is all about spending time with those you love. Buy them gifts based on sentiment rather than money. Sticking to a budget is difficult, especially in the season of giving. MBT Bank wants to help you avoid holiday headaches and enjoy this season. We have various checking and savings account to help you guard and budget your money throughout the holidays and the rest of the year.