With the holiday season rapidly approaching, it’s never too early to begin saving money on gift purchases. To help its customers avoid credit card debt and an empty wallet, The Provident Bank is offering some cash-saving tips.
“For too many people, the holidays are overwhelmingly stressful, from a financial perspective,” said Christopher Martin, president and CEO of Provident. “Some of that financial strain can be eliminated with a few helpful suggestions for saving money.”
• Make a list. Make a list of all the friends and family members for whom you need to purchase gifts. Creating columns for “who,” “what” and “how much” will help you stay focused on only the necessary expenses, and help control spending.
• Create a budget and stick to it. Gift-giving can get expensive, but it doesn’t have to put you in debt. As a general rule of thumb, total holiday spending should amount to less than your monthly mortgage or rent payment.
• Use your debit card for all holiday purchases. Forget cash. Using a debit card for all holiday purchases can prove useful. Not only will you have a record of what you bought, but you will also have an idea of how much money should be budgeted for next holiday season.
Additionally, most banks offer reward programs for debit card users. For example, Provident’s “Provident Perks” program rewards cardholders with points for each purchase they make via their debit card, as long as they sign the receipt. Points can then be redeemed for exclusive merchandise, travel deals and/or gift cards.
• Shop Online. You can avoid the crowded stores, and save money at the same time! If the item you are searching for isn’t exclusive to one store, shop around and compare prices. Often, you will find the same product on sale at a competing store. Web sites such as Overstock.com or eBay offer popular merchandise at discounted prices.
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