Smart Tips for the Holiday Seasonsnow men

A Little Help From BMI Fedeal Credit Union

The holidays are here! And that means gifts, travel, gatherings, family, and more. Don’t become overwhelmed with expectations or buried in holiday spending. We’ve made our list and checked it twice, so you can relax and enjoy the holidays! 

A Holiday Loan

We couldn’t kick off our best holiday list without the BMI Federal Credit Union Holiday Loan! Why do we love this loan so much? The Holiday Loan provides a special low rate for three spending amounts that are available at your choosing*. Most department store cards and credit cards have interest rates at double and triple the Holiday Loan rates, so use this loan in place of your high interest cards. You can also apply the loan amount to these cards, so you’re able to pay off your debt quicker at a lower rate. If debt isn’t a problem, simply use a Holiday Loan to get a little extra cash at a great rate with a realistic payment plan.    

Don’t Get Caught Up in Overspending

Review your finances and see how they measure up against your list of upcoming expenses. Maybe there are some places you can cut back and make room (hint: check out My Finance Tool for managing your habits). Set realistic expectations for yourself. If you have a hard-to-buy-for friend or loved one, refer back to your budget. Sometimes the best gifts are the simplest ones. Not everyone expects you to overspend, but most people will expect you to be thoughtful.

The Perfect White Elephant Gift

Whether at work, with friends, or among family, it can be difficult to find the perfect gift for the name you picked out of a hat. If you don’t know this person intimately, you may have doubts. Be mindful if your giftee drinks alcohol, has children, or maintains any allergies. When in doubt, a gift card is always up to the challenge. BMI Federal Credit Union Visa Gift Cards are customized, so they will also satisfy that “suggested spending limit”.

Decorations and Gatherings

Holiday hosts are the un-sung heroes of the winter months. From décor, to food, to extra high energy bills, those expenses can add up quickly. Your first line of defense is the pot-luck. Arrange your gathering to include a dish from each guest. If you have out-of-town guests, ask them to create one of their favorite holiday dishes. If you are a guest this year, offer to bring a dish or accompany your host to the grocery store. There are also plenty of ways to DIY holiday party decor. Check out one of our favorite lists. Don’t forget to keep your favorite decorations for next year!

Keeping Your Information Secure

The holiday season is one of the most important times to be mindful of your personal and financial security. Protect yourself with smart choices: DO monitor your financial activity often. DO ensure your car and house doors are locked. DO keep your financial statements secure (or shred unwanted statements). DO be aware of “porch pirates” (keep an eye on those Amazon deliveries). DON’T share your out-of-town plans on social media. DON’T leave purses, wallets, or cash/cards exposed while shopping. For more tips on financial security, or what to do if you suspect your identity has been compromised, visit the BMI FCU Identity Theft Resource Center.

Donations  

It’s important to remember, for all you may have this holiday season, there is always someone who has less. Take some time to bring your extra non-perishable goods to your local donation service or food bank. Go through your closets to see what warm-weather clothing you no longer use (local athletic clubs usually have winter coat drives). We love to help our community and we know you do too. Don’t forget to keep all your receipts and write off these expenses come tax season! And have a safe and happy holiday season!

*APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Rates available as of November 1, 2019. A $1,000 loan will be 12 monthly payments of $87.01. A $3,000 loan will be 24 monthly payments of $136.55. A $5,000 loan will be 36 monthly payments of $160.13. Only one Holiday Loan per member. Members with existing Holiday Loans are eligible and will need to combine their existing Holiday Loan into the new loan. No Payment for 60 days. Rates, terms, and conditions are subject to change and may vary based on creditworthiness, and qualifications. All loans subject to approval. Membership eligibility requirements apply. Offer ends January 31, 2020.