• December 5, 2023
  • Posted by General Electric Credit Union
  • 3 read

The Gift of Saving: How to Make Holiday Presents More Affordable

The holiday season is synonymous with joy, warmth, and, unfortunately, a spike in spending. This year, U.S. consumers budgeted over $600 to spend on presents for loved ones.1 But finding the perfect gift doesn’t have to break the bank. Here's a comprehensive guide on how to save money on holiday presents without compromising on thoughtfulness.

Spend less on holiday presents this year 

Plan ahead

Start by establishing a realistic budget for your holiday shopping. A spending limit will help you make informed decisions and avoid impulsive purchases. You should also write down a list of everyone on your gift-giving list. This, plus the spending limit, will help you determine how much to spend on each person.

You can also save money by planning your shopping spree ahead of time, as last-minute shopping often leads to rushed decisions and overspending. Capitalize on holiday sales for significant discounts. Plan your purchases around these days to secure the best deals on electronics, clothing, and other popular gift items.

Earn cash back 

Reach for a cash back credit card and earn on purchases you were going to make anyway! Your cash back will be applied to your statement balance, helping you rebound from the expensive holiday season. The best options come with Zero Liability protection, which shields your accounts in the event someone tries to use your card to make unauthorized purchases. During the holiday season when scams increase,2 this would be a vital part of your fraud avoidance strategy. 

The best debit cards can also be used to earn cash back. That’s because some financial institutions, like General Electric Credit Union (GECU), allow their checking accountholders to enroll in programs like Round-Up.3 Our program rounds debit card purchases up to the nearest dollar then deposits the change into the account of your choice. Some even match your earnings up to a certain amount. That’s free cash to use toward holiday debt payoff! 

Take a unique approach

Consider the charm of do-it-yourself (DIY) gifts. Handmade presents not only save money but also carry a personal touch. Whether it’s homemade baked goods, crafted artwork, or a scrapbook of memories, these gifts often hold more sentimental value.

You could also gift an experience instead of a physical item. Tickets to a show or a cooking class can create lasting memories without the need for elaborate spending. If done tactfully, regifting can also be an effective way to save money. Ensure that the item is suitable for the new recipient and doesn’t carry any sentimental value before rehoming it.

By implementing these strategies, you can navigate the holiday season with a savvy and budget-conscious approach, ensuring that your gift-giving is both meaningful and financially responsible. GECU members can reach for their Gold4 card to earn unlimited cash back. Or, consider enrolling in Round-Up and using your debit card for holiday purchases. We’ll match your rounded-up funds by 5%, up to $350 a year!3

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