There’s No Sugar Cookie-ing It—The Holidays Are Going to Cost You Some Dough

Ahhh, the holidays. Although they come around the same time every year, they still often catch many holiday shoppers by surprise. This year, is likely to be no different. Add in the increase of goods and services with rising inflation and your holiday expenses are going to cost some real dough. If you haven’t considered how to pay for the holidays yet, now may be a good time. Like always, being prepared and having a plan—and a holiday list—is always your best option.

Often, there’s much more to planning for the holiday expense than just buying gifts. You need to also factor in any travel costs, additional grocery needs for recipes and meals, holiday baking items, specific clothing for parties and gatherings, postage for holiday cards, gift wrap, and decorations. In fact, according to Deloitte's 2022 Holiday Retail Survey, the average American family will be spending approximately $1,455 this holiday season.

Is your wallet ready? Wondering how to manage holiday expenses?

Of course, it’s always advisable to plan ahead throughout the year. However, if that simply didn’t happen this year (hey, we understand), then you’ll need to get creative and find other options. Create a spending budget and plan for what you will need, including all gifts on your list and any additional food and travel/guest expenses. Is there room for improvement or can your list be pared down?

Become a savvy shopper and use any online holiday promotions available. Lastly, stick to your holiday list. If your child’s friends seem to all be getting the latest video gaming system or new mobile phones, but those weren’t part of your holiday plans this year, then decide if it’s truly something your child and family wants. If so, perhaps family members would like to assist with this larger purchase versus smaller gifts for your child? Depending on your child’s age, you could also ask them to offset the cost with various chores or part-time work (if age appropriate).   

Consider all possible solutions that may be available to help you fund the holidays, including:

  • Earn supplemental income—Finding a side gig or part-time, temporary job could help give your wallet the boost it needs this holiday season. Don’t rule out embracing your entrepreneurial side and starting your own side business, while putting your talents to work for you.
  • Take Out a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)—Whether you’re choosing to remodel your home ahead of the holidays, need to consolidate higher-interest debt to free up room in your monthly budget, or want to have the funds available to you to spend however you choose this holiday season, find out how a HELOC can help. Also, ask about our Fixed Rate Advance option on your First Bank Home Equity Line of Credit!
  • Consider the Advantages of a Personal Loan—Personal loans are a great option if you wish to avoid the typical higher interest rates associated with credit cards or you don’t have enough equity in your home to qualify for a HELOC. With a personal loan from First Bank, you can also take advantage of low, fixed rates, and flexible repayment terms.
  • Choose the Right Credit Card—With a Maximum Rewards® World Mastercard®ˡ, you can enjoy a low, introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers², earn a bonus, and earn rewards you can redeem for cash back, gift cards, and more³. That certainly would be a nice holiday surprise!

The holidays are meant to be a fun and festive time, but you shouldn’t let them derail your long-term financial plans, like contributing to retirement, building up an emergency savings, or adding to your child’s college savings funds. In fact, asking family members to contribute to your child’s tax-advantaged college savings plan is truly a gift that will keep on giving!

Although the holiday season is going to cost you some dough, you do have options. Reach out to a trusted advisor at First Bank to find out how or products and services can help you manage the expense of the holidays.