The holiday season is here! It’s a wonderful time of year to enjoy with family and friends, but extra holiday expenses can add strain, especially for the 22% of Americans expecting to find themselves in holiday related debt (LendEDU). With the five tips below, you can help your members reduce holiday stress by getting financially ready for the season.
- Prepare for the unexpected: Nothing can cut into a holiday budget like emergency expenses. Remind your members to carry out regular maintenance on their cars and regularly check major appliances like furnaces to avoid expensive repairs cropping up in the middle of the holiday season. Health expenses are costly too, so you might also consider reminding members to go for regular check-ups to help avoid any unexpected health costs. Of course, no one can plan for everything, so most of all, encourage your members to create or build emergency funds.
- Focus on economical ways to celebrate: Help your members save money by notifying them of free or low-cost community events. You could also consider hosting a holiday event at your credit union. Also, share creative gift ideas such as acts of kindness in place of bought gifts.
- Start planning and saving ahead of time: What savings plans do you offer? Does your credit union have a Christmas club or other program to help members save for the season? If you do, be sure to remind them about it year round so they can build up the funds they need.
- Consider all holiday expenses: A survey by Deloitte reveals only 34% of holiday spending goes for gifts. The rest goes towards holiday get-togethers. The same study shows that 78% of people spend holiday money on themselves, mostly for food, liquor and clothes. Other holiday expenses include donations, entertainment, eating out, travel costs, and home items.
Help members address these costs by sharing tips on social media or in emails highlighting the different expenses they should consider in their budgets. If your credit union offers prepaid cards, remind members how they can use the cards to keep their spending in line with their budgets. A gift card can work as both a budgeting tool for special holiday expenses and as a popular gift that allows members to easily stay within their budgets. With gift cards, members know exactly what they are spending.
- Bring the community together: Dealing with holiday expenses can be difficult, but a fresh perspective helps ease the strain. Encourage your members to share the ways they get financially ready for the holidays on your social media page. You can even share some of these suggestions on your website, bulletin board or lobby screen to reach members who are less active on social media.
By using these five tips, your team can support members’ efforts to be financially ready for the holidays, helping them focus more on enjoying the wonder of the season. LSC is also here to help you offer simple gift solutions like prepaid gift cards with designs to fit every style. Contact us today to learn how your credit union can offer these and other prepaid cards to your members.