‘Tis the Season to Watch Your Spending!!

woman holding shopping bags walking down city street Christmas shopping

The holiday season is finally upon us and with it comes all the usual cheer and stress that the hustle and bustle of shopping for the perfect gifts for friends and loved ones brings. Following are a couple ways to keep your finances in check and get the most ‘bang for your buck’ while you prepare to put smiles on the faces of those around you.

Shop early and stick to budget!

Due to Covid-19, many merchants have either already started or have extended Black Friday sales that you can take advantage of early this year. Should you not wish to leave your house and only want to shop online, most are now offering free or discounted shipping with qualifying purchases.
And just like you wouldn’t let a child into a candy store with your credit card in hand, it is a good idea not to go on a shopping binge without knowing your “fiscal limitations”. One way to do that is to prepare a budget for spending and doing your level best to not go beyond it. As budget’s work, if you find a “must have” gift for one of your loved ones that is beyond your budget, figure out a creative way to cut corners elsewhere so you don’t suffer the consequences when the bill arrives early next year.

Download and install a browser extension for online shopping

Here is another good way to keep the holidays merrier along with your wallet: If you are only an occasional online shopper and you haven’t heard about utilizing browser extensions that can save you money while shopping, it’s time to get on board!

Download and install some popular browser extensions like Honey, RetailMenot, Wickibuy and Camelcamelcamel then shop online at Amazon, Target, Walmart, eBay, Macy’s or hundreds of other supported merchants and watch as these extensions work to save you money by searching for applicable coupons that they then apply towards your online purchases. These extensions work by automatically filling in the coupon codes for you and then they show you the discount and dollar savings you will receive when you go to checkout. Some extensions even show you how to get coupons emailed to you that you can print, and use should you decide to venture out to the stores themselves. Give them a try! Also, you know we love to support local and charities, so we recommend using the smile.amazon.com instead of amazon.com! By using this link, you can select a non-profit or charitable organization that Amazon donates a percentage of your purchase too! Everybody wins!

Use a credit card versus a debit card for better protection

Lastly, and you have probably heard this many times before, NEVER use a debit card when shopping online.  If your account is later compromised, this limits the suspect from further draining your hard-earned dollars from your checking account.  Plus, many credit cards provide you with additional guarantees like free replacements for lost or stolen items, or even extended warranties well beyond what the merchant or manufacturer provides.  Once again, however, make sure that if you use your credit card that you will have the funds available to pay the bill when it arrives.

All of us at F&M Bank wish you and your families the very best this holiday season!

NMLS #718145

published on 12/14/2020