The holiday season is upon us. The holidays can be a joyful time but could also be stressful if you don’t prepare and stay safe.
Here are some suggestions to make the holidays less stressful, more budget-friendly, and safe.
Make a list and check it twice but don’t forget those holiday season extras. For instance, if you decorate your home with holiday lights, consider how the additional power load may increase your electric bill, and factor that into your budget. If you're traveling to visit friends and family don’t forget to account for the cost of gas or airfare, lodging, and more.
Want to safeguard your spending plan with a budget cushion? It is generally recommended to cushion your budget with $100-200 dollars.
Establish your budget for the season as soon as possible. Then, track your purchases as you make them. After the holidays, review what you spent and use that to create a holiday budget for next year. Put that money in a savings account marked for holiday spending.
If there is less money in your holiday budget than what you planned on, adjust spending a bit. For instance, if you were intending to provide all the food and beverages for a holiday get-together, invite your guests to a potluck instead. Also, you could make your friends gift instead of purchasing something. Remember it’s the thought that counts!
Safety is always important. Here are some tips to keep you safe during this holiday season:
- Put your gifts in the trunk or covered area of your vehicle out of sight of others.
- Shop during the day (daylight) and bring a “buddy”.
- Never overload yourself with packages. Carry only a small amount of cash and your cards on you.
- Leave the TV and/or a light on at your home when you are out shopping in order to prevent break-ins when you are away
- If you are having online shopping packages delivered to your house, make sure someone is home to receive them or ask a neighbor to watch for deliveries and bring them inside.
- Only use trusted online shopping sites, and protect your cards and your personal information at all times. Always practice safe internet banking.
- Make sure to check your accounts online to verify your purchase and check for fraudulent activity.
Use QNB online banking services from the comfort of your home without any hassle. We are committed to providing online banking security for our customers. As always, we hope you have a safe and happy holiday season!