Please check here for up-to-date hours and availability before heading to your local branch.

Find answers to our Frequently Asked Questions.
Posted November 30, 2021

According to the National Retail Federation, consumers plan to spend an average of $997 this holiday season. While not everyone relies on credit, 41% of consumers who celebrate the holidays and carry credit card debt are prepared to add to their deficit, according to a poll by creditcards.com.

This year, block the noise and do what your heart says is best for you. With a little planning, smart shopping, and creative ways to earn more, you can start the year feeling more confident and happier about what’s to come.

Avoid piling on additional debt with these simple tips.

Talk To Loved Ones

Traditions can be expensive, especially as families grow. This year, consider having a heart-to-heart with your loved ones; be open and honest about how you feel. Each household may be spending hundreds of dollars each year simply to please one another or because it’s what you’ve always done. Talking openly about your hopes for the holidays may bring relief to all.

Reduce Gift Spending

The bulk of spending during the holidays is on gifts for family. Rather than giving each family member a gift, try something different. Coordinate a white elephant gift exchange or draw names for a Secret Santa approach. This change alone can bring big relief to your budget.

Redeem Points

There may be money lying around in a few places and every little bit helps. If your credit card offers rewards, now’s the time to take advantage of those points.

Additionally, if your employer has a wellness program or employee engagement platform, redeem points on those too.

Get A Seasonal Job

If you’re committed to spending more than you can currently afford, consider boosting your income. Turn a hobby into a money stream or apply for a seasonal job. You’ll have extra income and may have access to an employee discount as an added perk. It’s a win-win.

Borrow Wisely

Set on borrowing? Look over your options. If you’re going to pay the balance in full when the statement arrives, use a card that earns cash back or points. If you’re planning to carry a balance, it’s best to go with the option that offers the lowest interest rate. This could be a credit card with a low introductory rate or even a holiday loan.

Sell Duplicate Items

What do you do when you receive something you already have? Maybe your sister thought you could use a crockpot or perhaps your brother bought you new headphones. If you already have the item, you can try selling your old one for cash or getting store credit for the new one.

Save For Next Year

To reduce our dependency on borrowing, it’s best to anticipate the added expenses. Keep your receipts and track your expenses this holiday season. Take the total amount spent and divide by 10 to see what you should save from January to October of next year. For example, if you spend $800 this year, you’ll contribute at least $80 a month to your holiday fund for 10 months to prepare.

Visit aplusfcu.org/balance to gain access to free resources covering a wide variety of topics, including tips for the holidays.