Apr 26, 2022

You’ve probably heard of the importance of saving for a “rainy day,” but you might be wondering how much you should save and where to store your funds. Setting aside any amount of money for emergency or unexpected expenses is always a good idea. Having a fund separate from your emergency fund can ensure that when the unexpected happens, you’ve got peace of mind.

How Much Money to Keep in a Rainy-Day Fund

While the right amount of money varies from person to person, experts suggest saving $1,000 as a starting point. $1,000 can help cover unexpected expenses such broken car parts, malfunctioning home appliances, and urgent care visits and medication prescriptions. Having extra cash on hand allows you to cover unforeseen expenses.

Always try to replenish the money that’s taken out of the rainy-day fund as soon as you can. This replenishing cycle allows you to always be one step ahead of most “rainy days” that may come your way!

Rainy-Day Funds vs. Emergency Funds

A rainy-day fund should be separate from an emergency fund. An emergency fund typically includes 3-6 months living expenses (mortgage, bills, groceries), and covers extended financial stress during major life changes. Since emergency funds are typically a much larger percentage of savings, they can be held in a money market account or a CD (certificate deposit) to earn interest while it’s not being used.

Where to Store a Rainy-Day Fund

Your rainy-day fund should be fluid, and therefore, easily accessible when needed at a moment’s notice. These funds can be kept as cash on hand or set aside in a simple savings account. Keeping these funds within arms reach allows you easily obtain the money for emergency expenses. An Eastex Savings Account can store your savings for when you need them most!

Automate Your Savings

If you’re wanting to build your rainy-day fund, try automating your savings. For just a few dollars a paycheck, you can reach your goal faster without all the hassle. Challenge yourself to save in little ways that can help you reach your goal of saving for a rainy-day fund!

An Eastex Credit Card for When Your Rainy-Day Fund Runs Dry

When your rainy-day turns into a rainy week or month, Eastex Credit Union has got you covered. Our Visa Credit Card gives you the ultimate peace of mind to cover a wide range of unexpected expenses for whatever comes your way. Apply for a Visa Credit Card today to have on hand in the event you ever need it! Being prepared for the unexpected with multiple sources of funds that includes cash on hand, cash in an Eastex Savings and an Eastex Visa Credit Card will allow you to stay one step ahead of some inevitable rainy-days!

Apr 12, 2022

What is a Cash-Back App?

A cash-back app is an app that gives you a rebate on a purchase or provides a coupon for an additional discount on a purchase. These rewards or rebates can be used on items such as gas, groceries, clothing, and other items you’re already buying! There are some apps that can offer points which can be redeemed on a future or subsequent purchase. Using a cash-back app allows your money to go further. Check out these apps that will help you stretch your dollar and get the most out of your purchase:

Ibotta

Ibotta works by letting its customers earn cash-back in stores as well as online. After downloading the app and creating an account, the app can find where you’re shopping and search for cash-back offers for that establishment. After checkout, you can claim your cash-back rewards by taking a picture of your receipt and/or scanning the item’s barcodes. From there, once your earnings reach $20, you can “cash out” via Paypal, Venmo, or other retailer gift cards such as Amazon, Target, and Walmart.

Checkout 51

Checkout 51 allows you to earn cash back on groceries and gas. Every Thursday, there are new savings opportunities. Simply add your favorite offers to your list (or items you already plan on buying,) tap redeem, and upload a picture of your receipt. Upon approval, Checkout 51 credits your accounts with Cash Back and is eligible to redeem for cash out at $20.

MyPoints

MyPoints has a wider range of retailers for you to earn points from such as Walmart, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Amazon. They also offer coupons, promotional codes for websites, and the latest sales and deal events. Earn one point for every dollar you spend and redeem your points for gift cards.

Plus, MyPoints lets you earn cash for taking surveys.

Shopkick

Unlike the other cash-back apps listed, Shopkick is unique in that you can scan items within the store – and without purchasing – and still earn rewards, or kicks. Earn more points with purchasing items on the app or simply scan and go. Redeem a $2 gift card for every 500 points scanned.

Bonus Tips When Using Cash-Back Apps

  1. Always read the offer’s fine print. Some apps do not offer cash-back on generic store versions. It’s a good rule of thumb to double check the brand name and quantity amount specified for the offer.
  2. Run the numbers. If there is a cheaper or more cost-effective alternative to the item you’re buying, consider skipping that offer.
  3. Remember why you’re looking to pocket more cash and don’t buy unnecessary items just earn the cash-back.

Looking for more ways to fuel your savvy spending? Visit this link for a list of 27 apps that can help maximize your dollar. Similarly, find out how you can maximize your credit card perks through Eastex Credit Union! Earn points with each purchase to redeem on gift cards when you use an Eastex Visa credit card through the uChoose Rewards Program. Make your dollar go further! Visit our website to apply or call us today at (409) 276-2525.

Mar 29, 2022

In today’s digital world, it’s a good idea to follow content that will help you with your personal finance growth. With so many resources at the convenience of smart phones, it’s helpful to know what’s available regarding your personal finance advocacy, debt payoff progress, and investing questions. Check out these finance accounts for all things money content:

  1. You Need a Budget (YNAB), @YouNeedABudget

Follow on Instagram and Facebook

YNAB offers content that help to keep your budget balanced and realistic. YNAB bases their budgeting philosophy from 4 rules:

  • Give every dollar a job
  • Embrace your true expenses
  • Roll with the punches
  • Age your money
  1. Rachel Cruze, @RachelCruze

Follow on Instagram and Facebook

#1 New York Times best-selling author and host of the Rachel Cruze Show, Rachel aims to help individuals avoid debt at all costs. Much like her father – Dave Ramsey’s – ideologies regarding preventing and paying off any current debt, Rachel urges people to live within their means. Rachel also emphasizes the need to create and stick to a budget, have an emergency fund established, and avoid using credit cards.

  1. Millennial Investing

Visit MillennialInvesting.com

Love podcasts? Check out this podcast from Millennial Investing that’s hosted by Robert Leonard and Clay Finck. Their podcast covers investing basics, investment, and financial advice geared to help millennials begin their investing journey. Leonard and Finck explore investing topics such as stock investing, cryptocurrency, options trading, and more!

  1. Side Hustle Show

Visit SideHustleNation.com

Here’s another podcast that focuses on the importance and impact of a side hustle, or side job, in which extra income greatly impacts your financial journey. Tune in to multiple guests on the show that explain ways in which their side hustle has helped them “quit the rat-race” and traditional 9-5 job and begin earning passive income in other impactful ways.

  1. Odd Lots

Visit Bloomberg’s Odd Lots website

It’s always a good idea to keep up with current events that affect the state of the global economy. Bloomberg’s Odd Lots podcast hosts, Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway, discuss current news and happenings around the globe. Stay up to date with real time news and join the discussion on trends, stocks, tech, economic states, and currency.

Join in on the conversation! Follow Eastex Credit Union on Facebook to stay up-to-date with the latest finance article shares, tips on improving financial health, and current events in the area. Have more questions about paying off debt, investing, or all things finance? Contact our team to get answers to all your financial questions at (409) 276-2525 or visit us at EastexCU.org!

Mar 15, 2022

Choosing between renting a property or purchasing your own home is a big decision that requires a close look at the pros and cons of both options. Each route is a major decision that affects your lifestyle and current financial situations. There are several differences between the two that you should consider when deciding which is best for you:

Renting Pros:

  • You are free to move around whenever your lease is up. Typical leases are about a year, but oftentimes landlords can do month-to-month depending on your circumstance.
  • Repairs needed on the home typically fall on the homeowner, rather than the renter. Of course, some rental stipulations include covering a portion of the bill (for instance, if the water heater breaks) but overall do not require the renter to foot the entire bill.
  • Relocating is easier to do when you are renting. There is more flexibility and freedom to move and choices when you are not tied down to a mortgage if you need to relocate.

Renting Cons:

  • It’s typical for price to increase year to year while you rent. Because your landlord can increase the rent at any time,
  • The landlord could sell the property at any given moment. Even though most reputable landlords will give ample notice before selling their property, it’s always a possibility that you could be left with trying to find a new place to live in.
  • Since the rental property is not your asset, rather the homeowner’s asset, you cannot build equity within the property. Similarly, your monthly rental payments allows the homeowner to continue building their equity.
  • Oftentimes, there is a “no pets” rule for rental properties. While you can always try talking to the landlord about exceptions, sometimes this rule is strictly enforced.

Owning Pros:

  • Pride of ownership in your property goes a long way with a feeling of settlement and stability. There is also freedom in homeownership – renovating the property as you wish and no longer worrying about any “no pets” rules.
  • Buying a house can be a sensible investment – you always have the option to lease out the property or even lease individual rooms.
  • With being the homeowner, you have more privacy in your property and full control over decision making.
  • You can benefit from tax breaks by deducting your mortgage interest payments.

Owning Cons:

  • Since you are the owner, you are fully responsible for any repairs, damages, and upkeep and maintenance for the property.
  • Property taxes can (and typically do) increase each year.
  • While owning a property is an asset, it’s not a liquid asset so selling your property and accessing your funds may take longer than expected.

 

It’s important to choose the route that best suites your needs and to look at the pros and cons of each. If you decide that it is feel free to contact Eastex Credit Union for all your lending needs. Our team of mortgage professionals are ready to help you with any questions you may have!

Feb 28, 2022

A good credit score can potentially save you thousands of dollars over the course of a loan. Improving your credit score can get you approved for better rates on mortgage, auto loans, and just about anything that needs financing! Here are some ways you can work on improving your score to begin your savings:

Check your credit report and dispute any errors

Checking your credit report is important to see where you stand financially. Viewing your credit score on your report shows lenders and creditors how well you borrow.

It’s important to review and identify any disputes, if applicable. A mistake on your credit report could be what’s keeping your score low. Mistakes on your report can consist of payments marked late when you have paid on time, inaccurate information, another person’s credit activity mixed with yours, or other discrepancies. You can access your free report at AnnualCreditReport.com from each of the three major credit bureaus. For ways to help dispute your report, check out this article.

Make payments on time

Your payment history is a key factor in determining your credit score. Paying on time and early helps to keep your score higher, as any negative occurrences on your payment history will affect the score. Many of the credit bureaus, including FICO and VantageScore, view payment history as the most influential factor in determining a person’s credit score. Your payments should be made on time (or early) to ensure no late fees incur. Consider setting payment alerts in a virtual planner or calendar to remind you. Consistently making on-time payments can raise your score in a matter of months.

Keep credit utilization low

One of the best ways to help your credit score is to properly use your credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of revolving credit you’re currently using divided by the total amount of credit you have available. It’s best to use 30% or less of your credit utilization to keep your credit score high. For example, a $10,000 credit limit means using no more than $3,000 of your total revolving credit. A low credit utilization rate shows you are using less than your available credit, which reflects a good job of managing your credit and not overspending.

Diversify your credit mix

Your credit mix consists of different credit accounts that you have which can include auto, mortgage, student loans, and credit cards. Having various open accounts counts for 10% of your credit score. For lenders and creditors who see that you have a diverse credit mix, this shows that you’re able to manage different types of credit accounts responsibly over a course of time.

Don’t close accounts

If you have paid off an account, it’s important to leave the account open otherwise it could negatively impact your credit score. It’s best to keep unused credit accounts open – like a department store card – to show lenders a longer average credit history. This will ultimately benefit you with a larger amount of available credit, if ever needed.

Not sure where to start? Talk to one of our loan officers today! As certified credit counselors, we can recommend ways to improve your credit and also offer best practices for money managing! Call us today at (409) 276-2525.

Feb 21, 2022

As styles change, the décor within our homes do as well. Smaller projects, such as a new wall color or replacing outdated door handles can often give our homes a refreshing, updated look. These tasks help us feel accomplished in the ever-continuous modernizing of our homes.

Bigger projects however, such as new flooring, bathroom remodeling, a new roof, or new window installations can quickly become expensive. Oftentimes, these expenses eat at our personal budgets and take a toll on our savings accounts. An easy way to tackle projects without draining your cash is to use the equity in your home. There are two ways to access your equity and make the most out of your home update/remodel:

  1. Take advantage of great rates and refinance your home loan through Eastex Credit Union. Aside from benefits like potential lower monthly payments, you will have the ability to cash out your equity and to use toward your home remodeling needs. The renovations and remodeling can, in turn, increase the overall value of your home.
  2. Consider a home equity loan if refinancing is not the option for you by borrowing against your home’s equity. A major advantage is that the rates you see on home equity loans are oftentimes significantly lower than other types of personal loans and credit cards. According to Bankrate, “As of late June 2021, home equity loans have an average rate of 5.36%, while credit cards have an average rate of 16.09% and personal loans have an average rate of 10.49 percent.”1

Unsure of where to start? Here a few tips and tricks to get the process started:

Identify your home maintenance needs

Decide what projects are of the utmost priority and make a list. See if there is anything that needs dire attention and put those on top of the to-do list. These are usually the items homeowners tackle first during the renovation process, such as a structural integrity. If there are no immediate safety concerns, decide what project you would like to see most accomplished. From there, continue to list the other items that need renovating in your home.

Make a budget

After deciding on what major areas to focus on and renovate, establish how much equity you currently have in your home to give you an idea of what tasks can be accomplished. After estimating how much equity you have, begin to gather a few quotes from contractors for projects that need to be done and total the projected costs. This will give you a feel for how much the total expenses are going to cost.

Talk to one of our Mortgage Loan Officers

Eastex’s Mortgage Loan Officers can help assist you at any point in the process. Through assessing the value of your home and verifying personal details (such as credit score and financial standing), we can help assist with predicting the equity amount you will be approved for, allowing you to get started on home improvements right away. A lump sum of cash at a fixed rate that you’ve built towards will ultimately help you achieve your home maintenance needs and goals. Our experts can also determine what type of loan you will best benefit from.

Begin your renovation process

Now that you have an idea of the spending amounts for projects that need to be done and have accessed your equity, you can start the process of improvements! Benefits to remodeling or updating a home include increased home value if you sell your home in the future. This is especially true if you do plan on listing soon. If you don’t plant to list, you can enjoy the benefits of your home tailored to your preferences upon remodeling.  You can enjoy the peace and comfort of a freshly updated home.

Whatever your home renovation needs entail, Eastex is here to make that happen! We provide expertise in assisting your transformative home needs through various loan options and guidance. Take advantage of great rates and access your funds today!

Jan 20, 2022

Whether you have children ranging from a toddler to a teenager, it’s always a good idea to begin preparing their financial journey through training and education. Here are 6 ways you can start their financial journey to implement good money habits:

Create an opportunity to earn money

Giving your child an allowance for accomplishing household chores such as cleaning their room, doing laundry, or washing dishes allows a real-world scenario of work and compensation to play out. To better prepare them for the future, you can show them that by doing jobs around the house, they can then earn money. Allowing your children to handle money at early age will equip them for spending, saving, and banking decisions. Watch your child become excited and eager to help around the house to potentially earn money.

Check out this list that includes an average weekly allowance amounts by age.

Have them set a goal

Perhaps the best way to learn about saving and spending is to implement real-world scenarios. If there is something your child has been asking for, such as a new toy or pair of shoes, encourage them to begin saving for it. Have them track their savings goal with free printable savings trackers. By saving for a desired item, your child will see the importance of a dollar with every saving. Similarly, they will feel that much more accomplished when they are able to purchase the item with their own savings!

Read about it

Use literature resources to begin making the subject of money a more comfortable conversation to have with your child. Check out this list of money topic books that range from kindergarten levels to high school levels. These age-appropriate books can help equip your child with money-management lessons. Consider visiting your local library and using it as a lesson for your children that renting books ultimately saves money versus buying them.

Model good financial behavior

To prepare your child in developing good financial decisions, it’s important to model behavior that includes good spending and saving habits. Practicing making smart choices regarding spending and saving requires consistency and grace. Modeling good behavior can be as simple as expressing gratitude for the things you have, rather than complaining about lack of material items.

See areas in your financial life where you can implement good financial behavior such as giving. Teaching this value to your child an early age will instill a sense of pride and self-esteem and will ultimately become character traits that continue to grow with them.

Talk to your children about finances and involve them in decisions

Consider opening the door of conversation about finances to your children. While we don’t want to burden them with financial obligations, you can have an open conversation that sets the foundation for real-world scenarios. Let them weigh in on decisions, such as things to do on a vacation. Have them set a budget and see where you align with the budget. Another way to implement this is to allow them to help shop for your family groceries. Have them list the groceries needed, how much they think they cost, and how much you plan to spend. Go over the receipt of items purchased and show how they aligned with their guesses. By allowing them to take part in financial transactions, their financial foundation for their own decisions will begin to take place.

Set up a college fund

One of the best ways to prepare your child for the future is to plan for it. Setting up a college fund for your child allows them to begin a new chapter of their lives without the burden of school loan debt. College expenses quickly add up, so allowing yourself to save for it now helps for the future. In fact, according to Education Data, “The average in-state student attending a public 4-year institution spends $25,615 for one academic year.” If college is not the route your child takes, those funds can be used for trade school needs, living expenses, or kickstarting a business.

Call or visit Eastex Credit Union to discuss automatic transferring a portion from your paychecks to begin saving for their future.

Jan 20, 2022

The start of a new year creates a “clean slate” mentality and goal-oriented mindset. Oftentimes, these goals focus on physical aspects such as better eating habits, cooking more at home, exercising, joining a gym, or curbing alcohol and tobacco products. While these goals are important to your physical health and well-being, it’s also important to examine your financial health. By looking at where you stand financially, you can better assess how “fit” you are in this resolution category. Here are 5 ways to become financially fit in the new year:

Check Your Credit Report

Much like a yearly health check-up at your physician’s office, routinely checking your credit report is also important for knowing your financial standing. In obtaining your credit report, you can see areas for improvement or even matters that need to be addressed immediately.

Checking your credit report can help you identify potential errors or mistakes on your report, and in some cases, reduce the chance of fraud happening with your information. Checking your report can help you better prepare ways to improve your score which greatly affects rates, terms, and savings that come with applying for a loan or credit card. By improving your credit score, you can potentially save thousands over the course a loan.

You can request a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax®, Experian®, and TransUnion® – at AnnualCreditReport.com.

Name (or Update) Your Beneficiaries

While naming beneficiaries is not mandatory, you should aim to name beneficiaries this year to ensure your money goes where you want it to. This type of crucial organization of your finances ensures that your life insurance or assets benefit the people that you care about. By not designating a beneficiary, it may be unclear where the funds are going and cause a delay in benefit payment.

Similarly, if you have named a beneficiary, it’s important to review the information you have on file and keep it up-to-date. If any major changes have happened recently, it may be wise to update the beneficiary as well as important contact information.

If you have life insurance, retirement accounts, or other benefits through your employer, make sure your files are up-to-date.

Prepare for Tax Season

The start of the new year means you will soon be receiving important tax documents from the previous year. Take some time to create a specific space, such as a designated folder, for these documents to review when you are ready to file. It’s also a good idea is to print any electronic documents sent to you to keep in your designated tax form space.

Here is a printable checklist that you can customize to fit your tax needs or print an entire list of. Organizing your forms will better help you prepare for the tax filing deadline date, which is April 18, 2022. Here is another resource on all things 2022 tax season that may benefit you!

List Your Financial Goals

Another way you can become financially fit this year is envision what you would like to accomplish this year. Whether it’s saving a certain dollar amount, paying off debt, or beginning your investing journey, it’s a great idea to list it out. Putting your list where you can see it daily – by your desk, in your car, or in the Notes app your phone – can keep you focused on your goal. By listing your goals, you can then better assess ways to achieve them.

If, for example, you are wanting to save money for a big vacation, wedding, or other event in 2022, consider creating, or updating, your current budget. To keep yourself on track, check out this Eastex Printable Savings Tracker. If you’re looking to payoff debt, here is a Printable Debt Payoff Goal visual to help!

Reduce Your Monthly Bills

Trim the fat on your expenses by looking at all your monthly costs and seeing where you can tighten up your budget. This can include reevaluating monthly subscriptions such as streaming services, subscription boxes, or car wash memberships that you rarely use. Here is a good plan of action to follow:

  1. List out all your typical monthly bills. (Refer to past statements to ensure you don’t miss anything that typically comes out of your account.)
  2. Evaluate which services you no longer need. Make time to cancel that service, if applicable.
  3. Review other monthly bills that can often be reduced which can often include: cable and television services, cell phone services, and auto/home insurance.
  4. Consider bundling services – such as home and auto insurance – to maximize your savings.
  5. Consolidate your debt with Eastex Credit Union. Talk to one of our specialists to discuss ways to reduce your monthly payment through an Eastex Personal Loan today!

Dec 16, 2021
woman waiting in airport with luggage, phone, holiday traveling

If you’re traveling this holiday season, it’s important to be prepared and to protect yourself and your belongings. Here are a few ways to implement the season’s best traveling practices:

Be sure to keep all important documents in your carryon

All important documents and belongings should be kept in your carryon, rather than your checked luggage. Having these documents on hand ensures that you will be prepared when you need to show them. It also helps prevent these items from being stolen or lost in transport. For a rundown of important documents that you need at the airport, check out this list that includes a checklist ranging from IDs, to tickets, to vaccination cards.

Easily identify your luggage

Add a luggage tag to easily identify your luggage. An example of this could be using a brightly colored ribbon on the handle of your luggage or bright athletic tape in the shape of your initial on your luggage. Having identifying markers on your luggage or suitcases helps to spot them in a crowd. This can potentially save you the time and hassle of sifting through other similar looking luggage. Check out these other options of luggage marker ideas that include: stickers, handle-grips, and even paint.

Avoid sketchy ATMs

Beware of ATM skimmers everywhere, but especially when traveling. The hustle and bustle of a new city can often cause you to miss an obvious sign of a tampered-with ATM. To see if an ATM has been tampered with, look for signs that include flimsy card readers, tape or sticky glue residue on any part of the ATM, or loose-fitting attachments on the ATM. Any of these signs point to the potential threat of being targeted for theft. Use your best judgement and always check ATMs before inserting your card.

Keep a little cash on hand, especially small bills

It’s important to have cash on hand for expenses. Yes, PayPal and Venmo are convenient when out with friends, but it’s always smart to have a little cash on hand. In the event an ATM machine is down, or there is an issue with your debit card not working, cash is still king.

It’s also good to have small bills that are easily accessible as tips for cab drivers, bellmen, and wait staff. Of course, it’s important to keep this cash on your carryon, rather than checking it.

When traveling with cash at an airport, consider divvying up amounts in different parts of your carryon. A wallet or purse can hold an allotted amount and a carryon bag can hold another. It’s a good idea to split it up if you lose your wallet, then you will have a backup resource of cash already on hand. Be sure to always know where your cash is placed and never let it out of your direct line of sight.

Ship gifts directly or give gift cards

It’s a good option to mail gifts ahead of time in the event they get lost or delayed. If shopping online, consider mailing that gift directly to its destination, rather than traveling with it. You will know that the gift recipient has received their gift and potentially miss paying extra fees on a weighted gift at the airport.

Similarly, you can opt to give gift cards to ensure they make it to their destination. Just like cash, keep these gift cards on your person to ensure they are not lost, stolen, or misplaced during travel.

It’s also important to note that you shouldn’t bring gifts already wrapped to the airport. TSA has the right to unwrap and inspect all packages.

Let us know if you are heading out of town!

If you’re planning to travel this holiday season, call Eastex Credit Union and let us know of your travel plans! This will ensure that any card transactions made from a different location won’t trigger potential identify theft or fraudulent activity issues. We can also monitor those transactions that were made from a different area were likely authorized by you. This can ultimately prevent a hold being placed on your card, preventing you from using it in your traveled to location. Call us today with any questions you may have about traveling this holiday season at (409) 276-2525!

Dec 16, 2021
Christmas budget, piggy bank, budget bank

While the Holiday Season can often be a time of family, warmth, and traditions, it can also lead to financial stress. If not fully prepared, the stress can put a burden on finances, which often dampers the holiday spirit. Here are a few, helpful ways to prepare for the upcoming season’s expenses that should alleviate some stress during a typically joyous time. Here are some tips to better manage holiday spending:

List out your expenses and create a budget

Make a list of everyone you intend on gifting to this year. This can include everyone from family members, friends, co-workers, and teachers. Set a realistic goal of how much you are looking to spend by allocating a specific amount for each person. The trick here is to not go over this budget once you have set it. Stick to the amount that is set for each person and from there, see how you can stretch your dollar.

Take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals

In terms of “stretching your dollar,” utilize the exceptional deals and discounts that happen during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Electronics, toys, and other hot-ticket items of the year are often found to be featured during this time. Keep an eye on the items you are looking to buy and see if they are featured in this year’s store holiday catalog or on their website. Retailers often announce their special price on popular items weeks ahead. You can also look for “flash deals” that are often found online during Cyber Monday. By doing so, you will be able to make your budget go further.

Use coupons and rebate apps

Similarly, research if the stores you are buying from offer coupons during the time of purchase. Oftentimes, retailers will put out coupons during this time of year that you can use to maximize your dollar. Be sure to read exclusions on the coupon to make sure it’s valid before purchase. It’s also important to read the fine print to be sure your item isn’t excluded from the coupon. Check your mailbox for coupons and discounts that are sent to you from local outlet malls or stores that you frequent. You can also check websites to see if they have any promotions going on that allow you to sign up via email to save.

There are also various apps that allow you to earn cashback on your purchase. Oftentimes, they require making a purchase, uploading a receipt to show proof of purchase, followed by a credit or rebate of a portion of your money back. Check out this list for the top 12 best cash-back apps of 2021 that will help you maximize your dollar. Save with these apps year-round that even include your everyday trips to the grocery store.

Choose a fun gift-exchange game

Rather than buying for everyone individually, opt for a gift-giving game such as white elephant. Set a spending limit amount that the rest of the participants can agree on for the game. Click here for different game ideas to play that include directions and printable PDFs, if needed! By opting for a gift-exchange game, you will potentially spend less versus buying separately all while having fun.

Earn extra cash

It’s not uncommon to pick up a side gig specifically for holiday spending. There are numerous retailers that hire seasonally to assist with the influx of shoppers during this time. Many retailers, such as Target, Amazon, and UPS are typically bustling with shoppers that require heightened performance. Check out hiring websites such as ZipRecruiter and Indeed to help you with your search.

If you currently aren’t able to take on an extra job, consider selling unused items around the house. You can earn extra cash from unwanted furniture, clothes, shoes, books, baby items, and décor. Check out different websites you can sell on that include: Mercari, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay, and OfferUp to name a few. Give your items new life while pocketing the extra change.

Borrow with Eastex Credit Union  

As always, we are here to help with the stress that often accompanies the holiday season. After all exhaustive efforts, sometimes a little financial help is necessary.

Take advantage of great current rates that allow you to have peace of mind this holiday season. Apply for a personal loan today that will help assist with purchases and gifting during this time. With worry-free installments, you can focus your attention on getting the perfect gift.

Similarly, you can apply for an Eastex Visa credit card for the holiday season spending. This is a great option for only buying what you need and paying later. Have peace of mind with knowing you can purchase what is needed this holiday season, when you need it.

Contact us today for any of your holiday spending needs at (409) 276-2525.


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