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Creating a Holiday Budget

It is easy to get caught up in the magic of the season and overspend during the holidays. If you’re relying on credit to make holiday wishes a reality, the magic often falls flat when your bills are due. Now is the time to create a holiday budget so that you can keep track of your spending and avoid a post-holiday spending hangover! Here are some things to consider when making your budget this holiday season.

Be Realistic

Think realistically about what you want to spend this holiday season. It is important to set a realistic, but firm budget. To create your personal holiday budget, sit down and look at what you spent last year. Were you paying off credit card bills for months after the holidays? Or did you think your spending was realistic? Be honest with yourself to set a realistic spending budget.

Evaluate Individual Expenses

As you create your holiday budget, consider looking at each individual expense. Try to think about:

  • Gifts for immediate family
  • Gifts for extended family
  • Gifts for friends, neighbors, and coworkers
  • Travel expenses like gas, flights, and hotels
  • Food and party supplies
  • Christmas cards
  • Postage and shipping
  • Gift wrap supplies
  • Interior and exterior décor

Adjust Expectations

Choosing your holiday budget may mean you need to celebrate in different ways. Consider offering your loved ones gifts of time and service instead of physical gifts. Spending money on someone or something in the past doesn’t mean you must spend the same amount forever.

Cash Out Rewards

If you use a credit card with rewards points or cash back, the holidays are a great time to put those perks to use. This feels like “free money” you can use to purchase gifts, pay for travel, and more. Your card may even offer additional rewards or cash-back bonuses for spending at certain stores. If you’re in the market for a new rewards credit card, the holidays can be an ideal time to sign up. First Citizens offers a Cash Rewards Platinum Visa with 1% cash back. Learn more here! 

If you’re tired of feeling the holiday pinch, start saving for the next holiday season NOW! Open a First Citizens Christmas Club account. Deposits can be made in any amount at any time OR you can set up an automatic transfer. Your saved balance will automatically transfer to your First Citizens checking or savings account on November 1, just in time for holiday shopping! Learn more here! 

Learn more about this topic with Banzai Financial Education by clicking here. First Citizens has partnered with them to provide financial resources for you on topics you care most about.

From all of us at First Citizens, we wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Christmas background with text. "Happy Holidays from First Citizens Bank".

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