PORTLAND, Ore., November 16, 2023—The upcoming holiday season is promising to be a big one, with holiday spending expected to hit its highest level since before the pandemic. The average household plans to spend approximately $1,652 this season, according to the financial firm Deloitte. And while inflation is slowing, even the smallest growth can impact holiday spending budgets.
To help prepare Oregon and Southwest Washington consumers for the holiday season, OnPoint Community Credit Union offers seven ideas for spreading cheer without breaking the bank.
“The holidays are filled with joy and merriment, but it can also be a time of financial stress and overspending,” said Amy Reeves, Vice President and SW Washington Area Manager, OnPoint Community Credit Union. “Creating a spending plan, prioritizing quality time with family and friends and encouraging community involvement can help you save money, while also creating lasting memories.”
Here are OnPoint’s seven tips for a budget-friendly holiday season:
Create a spending plan. Take time to plan your holiday spending. Start with an amount you’re comfortable spending. Use savings you’ve set aside, determine your discretionary income or evaluate if you should buy on credit. Then, list people on your gift list, events and items you want to purchase during the holidays. Creating a spending plan will help lower the risk of surprise expenses.
Consider using cash, not credit cards. Using cash might be better if you’re inclined to overspend. Cash is more tangible, and typically lessens the chances of overspending on credit. But if you use credit cards, take advantage of the cashback earnings and awards they offer. Just be careful to only spend what you can afford to repay.
Make a savings pact. If your budget feels tight this holiday season, there’s a chance your loved ones are feeling pressure, too. Ask them to join you in a savings pact, capping the amount spent on gifts. Consider a Secret Santa approach and draw names instead of buying gifts for everyone in your family.
Quality over quantity. Skip the traditional gift-giving and consider a homemade potluck-style dinner as your gift to each other. Pick a theme, assign one dish per person and see what your family can create!
You can also consider giving experiences instead of material items. The value of spending time with a loved one to go hiking or picnicking by a lake is far greater than a designer sweater or a kitchen appliance. It’s equal parts quality family time and saving money.
Giving back is the best gift given. Instead of purchasing gifts for the adults in your family, plan a volunteer night at your local Ronald McDonald House or food pantry. Not only are you helping those in your community, but you’re creating core memories. Spending time together while helping others? It’s a win-win.
Remember you don’t have to outdo yourself. The pressure to outdo yourself with holiday shopping can be stressful and budget-busting. Social media makes it even harder, with high expectations set by friends, family, acquaintances or influencers. Have no fear. Stick to your budget, be creative and remember friends and family support your budget-consciousness.
Limit spending on yourself. Surrounded by sales this holiday season, it’s easy to spend too much on yourself. While there’s nothing wrong with a little self-care, be aware of your extra spending and keep a limit on these items. Additional expenses can add up quickly, exceeding your well-intentioned budget.
We may all be more budget-conscious this year, but following these tips will ensure you and your loved ones have joy-filled celebrations. Visit any of OnPoint’s 57 branch locations if you’d like more personalized help creating a budget for the upcoming holiday season.
ABOUT ONPOINT COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION
OnPoint Community Credit Union is the largest credit union in Oregon, serving over 537,000 members and with assets of $8.8 billion. Founded in 1932, OnPoint Community Credit Union’s membership is available to anyone who lives or works in one of 28 Oregon counties (Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Gilliam, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington, Wheeler and Yamhill) and two Washington counties (Skamania and Clark) and their immediate family members. OnPoint Community Credit Union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). More information is available at www.onpointcu.com or 503-228-7077 or 800-527-3932.
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