While you work on recovering from your Halloween candy coma, let’s chat about some end of year finances! This time of the year can fly by, and it’s easy to get caught up in a spending tornado when it comes to buying gifts and traveling for the holidays. Here’s a few tips to help keep your budget in check during “the most wonderful time of the year!”
- Get a solid game plan for holiday shopping. This year is likely going to be a little wonky with the recent supply issues, so make sure to plan ahead and start early enough to ensure any online orders arrive on time (shipping times have slowed down, too!). To make sure you’re not over-spending, be picky with your purchases. Even with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, do your research in advance so you know which deals are real, and which deals are just the regular price made to look like a deal. Also, avoid just browsing when you shop. Write down what you need before shopping to prevent making unnecessary impulse purchases.
- Consider the rising prices of gas when you plan your traveling. If you’re driving, use an app like “GasBuddy” to help track the prices of gas in the towns and cities you’ll be traveling through. The national average price per gallon of gas is approximately $3.36 right now (it was around $2.16 this time last year). If the higher costs put you over your budget, consider spending less on gifts this year, or having virtual visits with family instead!
- Check on open enrollment for employee benefits and healthcare benefits. November is typically open enrollment season for benefits that may be offered by your employer. Open enrollment on Healthcare.gov or any state-run health marketplace runs from November 1 to January 15, 2022. If you currently have a plan and take no actions, you will be re-enrolled for the same plan and coverage. But you may be able to save some money by reviewing what you did or didn’t use in the last 12 months and revising your plan based on your review!
- Get a seasonal part-time job to help recoup some cash! The job market is hurting for workers right now, and they need even more employees to prepare for holiday consumerism. There are so many options for seasonal jobs from UPS to local retailers, to restaurant bartending and serving. If you have a couple nights a week or weekends to spare, it might be worth it!
- Consider a NorthRidge Holiday Loan! Now through December 15, you can borrow up to $1,200.00 at 15% APR* for 12 months. No credit check is required for current NorthRidge members** and you can typically plan on getting your cash within a few business days of applying! The cash is yours to use on anything you’d like – holiday gift shopping, traveling, bills, whatever you need. Just bring in your last 30 days’ of paystubs! You can fill out an application here. (Please allow up to 48 to 72 hours to hear from a loan officer. They are working as fast as the can to reach out in a timely manner, but we have experienced a high volume of loan applications.)
We are thankful.
Finally, as we move closer to the end of the year, November gives us the opportunity to be thankful. NorthRidge has many things to be thankful for this year: our members, our team members, and the successful purchase of the property at 4125 9th Avenue West in Hibbing for our new Hibbing building. Our credit union continues to grow with our communities, and we are so excited to provide even better service and support for our communities!
But, mostly, we want to thank YOU. Our members. Thank you for your continued support and trust in us as your financial institution!