New Rockford Transcript - Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

Winterfest: 5 tips to celebrate within your budget this holiday season


December 2, 2019

(StatePoint) For many families, the holiday season is the most expensive time of year. Americans spent over $707 billion dollars during the 2018 holidays, according to the National Retail Federation, and it would be no surprise for spending to increase in 2019.

“It is important to ensure you are spending wisely and not turning the new year into a time of new debt,” says Michael McAuliffe, president of Family Credit Management, a non-profit credit-counseling agency.

To spend sensibly and with good cheer this season, consider these tips from McAuliffe and the experts at Family Credit Management.

• Set a budget: While you should be following a budget throughout the year, it’s important to have a holiday-specific budget too. Figure out how much you are able to spend on each person’s gift and stick to it.

• Leave the credit cards at home: Put your holiday budget on a pre-paid debit card or gift card that you can use anywhere. They are available locally at both Bank Forward and Community Credit Union. Going shopping with only that card will help ensure that you don’t spend more than your budgeted amount. Not only will it help you stay within budget, but it will also help your purchase stay interest-free.

• Decorate wisely: With a tight budget, consider using last year’s decorations or making homemade decorations, as a fun, money-saving project to do with the whole family. While there’s no real need to buy new, expensive decorations every year, if you are so inclined, don’t forget to include that in your holiday budget.

• Think about shipping: If you plan to ship gifts to friends and relatives you won’t see over the holidays, be sure to include the costs of shipping those items in your budget. The New Rockford Transcript offers UPS services, so you can get your purchases shipped locally too! You can ship anywhere in the U.S.A. at reasonable rates with free tracking and $100 in insurance included in the rate.

• Don’t shop because you’re “supposed” to: Just because it’s Black Friday or Cyber Monday, doesn’t mean you have to shop. While there are some good deals offered during these events, just as frequently, the deals are not super special once you look at the normal price and product reviews. Unfortunately, marketing teams are great at knowing how to access wallets through product placement and signage, and shopping during these times will increase impulse spending and make it much harder to stick to a holiday budget.

For free money-saving and budget tips that you can use year-round, visit


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