In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
If an image of your credit card immediately comes to mind when you hear the words “holiday shopping,” you aren’t alone. Some people do it the right way—saving throughout the year so they don’t need to buy on credit. The rest of us mere mortals start thinking about the holidays when they’re a couple months away and do the best we can to cover costs. If you’re a mere mortal, like myself, here are some holiday credit card habits that will help you make it through the season with your finances intact.
August 14 is National Financial Awareness Day—a good reminder to take personal stock of your financial awareness. What does it mean to be financially aware? Financial awareness is akin to financial literacy and both refer to the knowledge and skill sets that support solid financial decisions and overall financial health.
If you’re buying a house, you want to get the best deal possible, which means you want the lowest interest rates—the lower your interest rates are, the less you’ll pay over the life of the loan. Buying a house can take a while, though, and in the time it takes you to find the house and go through the buying process, interest rates could rise or fall significantly.
Discussions about money can feel taboo, so it’s easy to feel alone when you have financial issues and hard to know who to ask for advice. Besides confiding in a trusted representative at your credit union or bank, below are some ideas that may help you recover from common money mistakes and reduce your anxiety so you can start saving again.
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What’s the secret to saving money? Use less money than you make! Saving money is really quite simple, and yet many people struggle to do it. Instead, we tend to use credit to make purchases and end up paying high interest rates on our debt. Why is it so hard to save? Because in order to achieve any goal, you need a plan. With savings, the plan is called a budget.
Winter is definitely here and you may be thinking about enjoying this early winter snow with a new snowmobile. You may wonder whether you should finance the sled or pay cash for it. If so, you can begin by asking yourself a couple of questions: Do have enough cash to purchase the snowmobile out of pocket? If I take out a loan, can I afford another monthly payment? Do I have to put insurance on the snowmobile? How much do I really want to spend?
There is no shame in shopping online or out of state for the holidays. I’ve found some of my best holiday gifts in distant cities. BUT! There is so much more to be gained, for you and your community, by weaving a good deal of local shopping into your holiday plan. The only trick is saving time and money while you’re at it.
Holiday shopping is more fun when you’re not worried about how you’re going to pay off your credit cards afterward. The best way to approach the season is to save money throughout the year, so you don’t need to rely on credit. But since we’re already counting down the days, let’s focus on what you can do if you weren’t able to save enough. Try these five ways to make the holiday season more affordable.