It’s fall. And that means the holidays are right around the corner. We know that all of the things you want to do for you and your family can put a lot of pressure on your budget. The end of the year, also means some other large expenses, like property taxes, are also fighting for your attention. For some, offsetting these expenses with a holiday loan can makes a lot of financial sense.
How much did you spend on the holidays last year?
The holidays are the season of giving, which translates to the season of spending. For most, your annual spending changes year after year.
One of the best things you can do to help make the holidays a lot less stressful is to create and stick to a holiday budget. Take a look back at what you spent last year to create a baseline for this year’s budget. This will help you plan ahead and get your shopping list ready.
It all adds up: Holiday spending facts & stats
As you plan your holiday budget, here are a few interesting statistics about holiday spending:
- $1 trillion: The total expected holiday sales this year are actually expected to exceed $1 trillion. That represents a 3.6% to 4% increase over 2015.
- 8%: The expected increase in holiday spending among Americans in 2016, compared with 2015.
- $935.58: The amount the average American consumer plans to spend during the 2016 holiday shopping season.
How can you afford the extra costs associated with the holidays?
Besides gift giving, there are other expenses typically overlooked when preparing a holiday budget.
Travel expenses oftentimes are the most forgotten holiday expense. In 2016, AAA estimated that 103 million people planned to travel for the holidays, and more Americans increasingly are hitting the road or taking to the skies during the holiday season.
How can you uncover the hidden costs of the holidays?
Other expenses typically overlooked during the holiday season include festive decorations, gift wrap, holiday cards, postage, holiday parties, added babysitting expenses, just to name a few. It all adds up!
Whether you need a plane ticket to visit family or extra money to afford the gift your loved one is longing for, planning now, and securing a budget can help you make this holiday one to remember.
Spread the love … and the payments
The benefit of securing a holiday loan early can ease your stress level, giving you a plan and a budget. A holiday loan will help you know what your monthly payments will be upfront, so you can budget accordingly after the holidays to pay it back. For some loans, this can be a fixed amount every month. This allows you to plan your spending and budget the repayment amount over the term of the loan.
For some, paying holiday expenses with a credit card comes with some uncertainty, especially if you don’t pay the balance in full each month. Calculating the repayment amounts can be confusing for some, especially when you add new charges while trying to pay down the existing balance.
How can you enjoy a stress-free season of giving?
The holidays are always a popular time to celebrate the spirit of giving. Planning ahead can help you eliminate the stress of the added expenses of the season and instead enjoy finding those unique gifts for everyone on your list. Exploring gift ideas, like these must-have Christmas present ideas, should be fun and a way for you to find that unique gift for each special person on your list. Enjoy the holidays this year by eliminating the stress of affording them and focus on the joy of giving the gifts your family and friends really want.
How you can afford the Best Holiday Ever
As you start planning your holiday budget, here are some things you should keep in mind:
- Decide how much you can afford to spend
- Make a gift list & decide who’s getting what
- Set expectations among family and friends
- Start shopping early
- Take advantage of sales as much as possible
- Keep track of your spending
At Greater Alliance Credit Union, we have several personal loan options available to help you be financially successful.
Flexible, Fast and Fixed Personal Loans
With several personal loan options available, we can help you find the right size personal loan for your holiday expenses. Our loan options include:
Try using our personal loan calculator to help determine exactly how much of a loan you need and how much you can afford.
Speak with one of our Loan Specialists today
If you’re not sure what loan is right for you, give us a call and speak with one of our loan specialists today. Our team can help you find the right amount and payment plan for you to have a truly happy holiday season.
Greater Alliance Federal Credit Union has many resources available to assist you in finding the right size holiday loan for your needs. Apply for a holiday loan today or call Greater Alliance Federal Credit Union to find the best financial solution for you.