Make This Holiday Season Budget Friendly

Set a Holiday Spending Limit

Set a spending limit that is put in place specifically with holiday events and gifts in mind. Create a feasible spending limit based on what will work best with your finances. Once your holiday spending limit is set, begin to break that into categories. For example, family gifts, gift exchange gifts, and holiday meals/ events. This will give a better idea of what you are able to spend where.

Shop with a List

To stay within budget while shopping, create a list of gift ideas for each person and items needed to prepare for gatherings and events. Not only will this help keep you on track while shopping and save you time in the stores but, it will also help to keep your spending under control.  

Shop Local

This is especially important for this year with all of the businesses and struggling through the pandemic, but it is always helpful to put money into your community and the small businesses that surround it. While checking off your holiday shopping list, you are also helping a business and the family behind it through the holiday season. Shopping small really is a win-win!

DIY Gifts

A tight budget doesn’t mean you cannot give gifts to your loved ones, it simply takes a little creativity (and/or googling). DIY projects are a fun way to spend time with family while creating something extra special for loved ones.

Entertain for Less

Under the circumstances this year, it is likely that you will less people to host in your home. With that said, if you are hosting a gathering with family and friends, consider making it a potluck where each guest is assigned a dish to bring. By doing this, you will save yourself money and time!

Holiday Shopping Online – Safety Tips

Holiday shopping is upon us and is looking quite different this year. Some shops are still closed or have limited hours and many are only offering “deals” online. So, before you start making your way through your shopping list online, consider these six tips to help keep your personal information safe this season.

1. Be cautious about what websites you are going to be shopping on, there are several that have deals that appear to be “too good to be true” and they most likely are. Try to avoid any websites that you are unsure about, read the reviews on shops and products you are interested in, or stick to the stores and websites you are familiar with.

2. Think before you click – Throughout the holiday season, we all get ads all over social media for “Sale of the century!”, “Don’t miss this!”, etc. When you see a product or sale on an ad, instead of clicking the link, visit the company website to determine if the ad was legitimate.

3. Once you have your cart full, consider what payment options are the most secure. Using a credit card when shopping online is one of the most secure ways to pay because credit cards often offer better protection.

4. Be careful of what information you share when shopping online. If the shop is asking of more information than you are comfortable with sharing, do not feel like you have to follow through with the purchase. You should only fill out the required fields when at checkout.

5. Keep an eye on your account activity – you can do this by downloading the WCU Credit Union App or through online banking. You will better spot unauthorized purchases or unexpected activity by doing so. If there is a transaction that is not right, report it to the financial institution immediately and cancel the card.

6. Ship to a secure location – As online shopping has grown so have the “porch pirates” that are stealing packages from porches. If no one will be home to get your package, you may want to consider other options to ensure you will receive the product you purchased.

These are great tips to remember not only during holiday shopping but any time you plan to shop online. Shopping online is convenient and easy if you are cautious!

Last Minute DIY Halloween Costumes

If you are anything like me, October has flown by and you still don’t have a costume – Halloween is only a few days away. The costume stores are running low, not to mention how expensive store-bought costumes are. I have created a list of a few simple and inexpensive costume ideas that you could easily put together in a rush.   

Rosie the Riveter:

All you need for a Rosie The Riveter costume is a blue jean button up, a red polka dotted bandana, and some bright red lipstick. Rosie The Riveter is an easy and affordable costume that take little to no effort and you could throw together in about 10 minutes!

“Blast from the past” (70’s 80’s 90’s):

This idea is as simple as it gets, you can choose any decade and dress based on the trends of the time! Here’s a list of “blast of the past” costumes:

  • – Greaser or Poodle girl (50’s)
  • – Hippie or Disco (60’s – 70’s)
  • – Dress in neon colors or cool 80’s rock gear
  • – 90’s also had a distinct style that would work perfect as a costume

Athlete or Nerd

 Do you have a jersey from your favorite sports team? Halloween is the perfect time to dress up as your favorite player! Throw on a jersey and some eye black and you are good to go!

To dress as a nerd just find the plaid shirt you already have in your closet and wear glasses, you could even add suspenders and a pocket protector to give your costume more detail. Hint: Pop out the lenses of an old pair of sunglasses for a cheap version of glasses.

Need a good couple’s costume?

Dress up as salt & pepper! Pick up a plain black shirt and a plain white shirt and some black and white felt. Cut the black felt into an “S” and glue to the front of the white shirt for the salt costume. Cut the white felt into a “P” and do the same. Doesn’t get easier than that!

There are many other options for last minute Halloween costumes, just take a look at Pinterest and you will find the perfect last minute costume for you, your family, and even your pets! We hope you have a wonderful and safe Halloween!