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Avoid a Financial Frostbite in the New Year

Did you know that consumers spent more than $700 billion on holiday shopping last year? Map out a holiday spending plan to avoid a financial frostbite in the New Year. With this year’s holiday shopping season launching in full force, Bath State Bank highlights five tips to help consumers keep their holiday spending under control.

  1. Create a budget and stick to it. Set a dollar amount based on what you can afford this holiday season. Be sure to include a cushion for additional expenses beyond gifts -- like decorations, wrapping paper, greeting cards and postage.
  2. Make a “nice” list. Jot down a list of everyone you plan to give gifts to and denote how much you can spend on each person. Consider making homemade presents such as photos for grandparents or cookies for your kids’ teachers.
  3. Avoid putting a major strain on your wallet and your sanity by taking advantage of holiday sales. This gives you more time to compare prices and identify the best deals.
  4. Save your receipts and monitor your account. Keep track of your expenses and add them up weekly to be sure you’re sticking to your budget. You can also use online/mobile banking features to easily monitor your accounts and pay your bills. 
  5. Plan ahead for next year. Review how much you spent in this past year and start a dedicated fund for next year’s holiday season. Setting money aside throughout the year will make budgeting for gifts and other holiday expenses easier.