11.22.2010 / Save More this Holiday Season by Planning Ahead

Holiday spending. Those two words can put a damper on the holiday spirit of many shoppers. According to the National Retail Federation, US Consumers spent an average of $682.74 during the 2009 holiday season. While less than some years, it is still a large chunk of change.

"US Consumers spent an average of $682.74 during the 2009 holiday season"

We all know the biggest day to save – Black Friday – but not everyone can get the day off, and some of us don’t want to brave the cold and the crowds. Below are some tips to planning – and saving – this holiday season.

  • Plan your list ahead: Before you shop – STOP. Set a budget for yourself on the total amount you want to spend on holiday shopping. Once you’ve done that, make a list of who you need to buy for, and set a specific budget for each person. Write down the gifts you’d like to give and do some comparative shopping (online and off) before you buy each present.
  • Forget Black Friday, go Cyber Monday! The Monday after Thanksgiving has been coined Cyber Monday for a reason – people are back online and looking to spend. Many online retailers have deals specifically geared toward Cyber Monday and can be found on sites like ( Shopping online for deals can save you gas and time.
  • Scale down your list: You may feel pressured to give gifts to everyone you know, or bring a hostess gift every party you attend. Fear not – scaling down your list can help pare down your budget. Make Christmas cookies instead and bring them to parties or drop them off to family and friends instead of gifts. They’ll appreciate your time – and your visit – a lot more than a purchased gift.
  • Work with your friends and family: Since a lot of us are feeling the holiday pinch this season, suggest to friends or family you celebrate the holidays with to minimize the gift giving. Many families have started White Elephant traditions, in which each adult brings one gift – typically under $25, and the family has fun opening, trading (and stealing) the gifts. If you think your family may be interested, suggest a White Elephant gift exchange instead of one present per person.

Do you have any special holiday savings tips that work for you year after year? If so, share with us? You may be helping out another First National customer!

Posted at 10:46 AM | Permalink
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