Christmas, New Year and Hanukkah. All of these names make people think of good times with their family and friends. We remember the good times, the laughter, the food, the stories, everything that we want to remember, be remembered, and create in the future. Unfortunately, our world isn’t as perfect as we try to imagine it to be on these days. For those with the responsibility of organizing these gatherings, one thought has to spoil the rest and that is the question of money. Everything needs to be paid for, everything needs to be planned and time and money are always going to be wasted. The question is, how much? With the COVID-19 pandemic, finances have been especially difficult this past year for many families and many are concerned about their budget going into the holiday season. Never fear, we are here. Here are some tips as to how you can save more and not worry about the hassle of the holidays and focus on what really matters.
More Time to Think - Less Time to Worry
Set up a budget. That is one of the most crucial things you can do to save during the holiday season. Too often people go into the store looking for a couple things and come up with twice as much as they had first intended. Every time you’re about to leave you spot something sitting on a pedestal whispering to you: “Buy me if you’re already here. You’ll save time if you buy me right now and I’m going to be SOOO useful.” Spoiler warning, don’t always listen to them. When you already come in with a list in hand that you prepared beforehand, you’re much less likely to go on an unintended shopping spree. We understand it seems like the best time to get as much as possible to add to the holiday spirit but in reality the only thing those extras are due is added to your expenses.
Better Late than Never but Better Earlier than Later
When more people go out to buy gifts for the holiday season, stores raise prices because they know that people are going to be willing to spend more at that time of year. If you want to save and save big, you need to make your purchases early, a month in advance if not more to avoid the holiday rush that’s going to eventually come. Try to make plans in advance so that you’re not rushing in at the last minute buying up everything you see at first sight. If you’re low on time you’ll grab the first item that matches your description without looking into the details and if you can find something better at a lower price. When you don’t give yourself the chance to do price matching and finding what’s really best for you, you can’t expect the best outcome when it comes to both what you get out of what you buy and how much you spend on it.
A Change of Perspective
All things aside, there is one thing that everyone can agree on. It doesn’t matter how many presents you buy or how many decorations are put up if you don’t get together in the holiday spirit and share the good times together as one big happy family. The experience is far more important than any trinkets, no matter if that trinket costs $5 or $500. A good family together is something that you’ll remember for far longer than any holiday gift that you can think that is reasonably within your budget. The holiday spirit is also one of giving, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be giving materialistically. Giving people a good time and helping them discover this world is one of the greatest things you can do to lend someone a helping hand. That is the true meaning of giving.
How Should I Finance It?
A poll published at the end of 2019 showed that for the holiday season, 61% of people had credit card debt; in other words outstanding balances and were willing to go deeper into debt for the holidays. However, only 30% of respondents with no current credit card debt were willing to go into debt for the holidays. This shows a stark contrast between people that tend to spend and save more as their attitudes towards finances extend into the holidays. Now let's say that you’re a spender and trying to figure out how to curb it. That is probably why you’re reading this.
Have you ever considered that there's a better solution to your problem than piling up credit card debt? Let’s look at why credit cards may not be the best alternatives.
High Interest Rates: Everyone knows this well. Credit cards are managed by major banking institutions which are very meticulous in who they give out money to as well as how much they give out. If they so much as have a slight indication that you may not be able to pay the money back, they’ll either hike your rates or won’t accept. Advance interest rates can reach as high as 22% on some credit cards.
Credit Fraud: The numbers of accounts that have been affected by credit card fraud increasing by 71% from 2008 to 2014, according to the Canadian Bankers Association. All of that is not even including the ever-increasing cyberattacks of our modern reality that have been in news headlines affecting major corporations worldwide.
Tight Rules Around Credit Scores: Big banks aren’t willing to give some leg room for those that really need it. They have more than enough clients and aren’t willing to shed a tear for you. A poor credit score can leave you in a never-ending state of rejection with you never being able to escape your past mistakes.
Being able to finance your holiday expenses by keeping everyone happy while also maintaining a balanced budget requires finding the best method to finance your purchases. Personal loans are better in this aspect than any credit card account. This is because unlike credit cards, personal loans are a fixed debt meaning you receive a fixed sum at the beginning of the period and pay it off with fixed amounts every month until the loan’s maturity date. This is in contrast with credit cards which are known as revolving debt since amounts can carry over from month to month.
Personal loan companies also don’t care nearly as much as big banks when it comes to your credit score. If we give you the money, we have full confidence that you’ll be able to pay us back and we don’t consider your past as a representation of you in the present. Finally, personal loan companies offer more flexible arrangements and lower rates than big banks. You can get a short-term bad credit loan for as low as 3.4% per month. If you think all this sounds good, visit https://www.magicalcredit.ca/ to learn more today about your options!