The Holidays are a beautiful time to spend time with loved ones and they can give us a chance to relax and prepare for a new year ahead. While many of us long for this “relaxation” the Holidays can bring, most of us end up frazzled, stressed and overextended. This year, let your friends at TDECU offer some tips on how to enjoy the season and protect your pocketbook!
Stay organized by making lists
Making lists is a great way to help you stay focused, organized and it can help you avoid impulse buys that you might regret later. Make a list of who you plan on purchasing gifts for, retailers you plan on visiting, grocery items you need to pick up for gatherings and celebrations and a general to-do list for you and your family to tackle around the house.
Do your research
Use the internet to your advantage this season! Research the best deals on certain toys and gifts, compare retailers and scope out the best deals. Many stores offer free shipping and other discounts, so make sure you’re getting the best deal! Sign up to receive email updates from your favorite online shops so that you can stay on top of discount codes and special offers.
Stay on top of your spending
Holiday spending can get out of control faster than you can say “Snowman!” so make sure you set a budget ahead of time and stick to it as best you can. If tracking your finances on pencil and paper isn’t for you, you can always sign up for free online services like mint.com or learnvest.com. Some people set aside a certain amount of money each year for their Holiday spending, and limit themselves to that exact amount. You can work with TDECU to open a small savings account for the Holidays, and always make sure to log in to your account to monitor your spending and stay on track. You can even set up alerts on your account balance from Digital Banking!
Stay alert and aware
Unfortunately, during the hustle and bustle of the Holidays, some people take advantage of distracted mall-goers and online shoppers. If you’re shopping in a store, always be aware of your surroundings. When you’re walking out to your car, always have your keys ready and keep your eyes up. Store items in your trunk to avoid people breaking into your windows if they see shopping bags. If you’re online shopping, make sure you are using secure websites (look in the upper left corner for the lock symbol). If you’re having packages delivered to your home, see if a neighbor can pick them up before you get home, or consider shipping them to your office or a more secure location. Thieves often follow delivery trucks around the Holidays in order to swipe packages.
Keep an eye on your accounts
With all of the expenses during the holidays it can be easy to miss fraudulent charges. Make sure you stay on top of your transaction history by periodically checking Digital Banking. TDECU also makes it easy to set up alerts on your account, debit cards and credit cards! Visit our Fraud Center to learn more about how you can get notifications about your spending as it happens.
Our team at TDECU wants you to have a safe and relaxing Holiday season, and hopefully these tips offer you something to help ease your mind. Don’t forget to log into your online account periodically to check your balances and monitor your activity.