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November 12, 2020
Five Tips to Save Money on Holiday Shopping in 2020
It’s no secret that the holiday season can be a doozy for the wallet. With all the seasonal traditions, like decorating, meals and gift-giving, you may feel like you have to choose between not participating in the holidays and overspending beyond your means. We’ve got five tips to help you save money on holiday shopping — without skimping on the joy or the fun!
1. Establish a budget and stick to it.
During the holiday season, your heart might grow three sizes, but don’t let the holiday spirit inspire you to be overzealous when shopping. People tend to spend more during this time of year, so remember the importance of budgeting. By making a list (and checking it twice) you can make sure your heart doesn’t run away with your head, leaving you to play catch up on the added debt in 2021.
2. Be creative with low-cost or homemade gifts.
If you need to spend less on gifts this year, don’t feel like your expression of love is limited due to finances. Gifts don’t have to be costly to be meaningful. Thoughtful gifts can go a long way, such as:
- Time or service: You could offer to give of your time by creating “coupons” your giftee can redeem for various things, such as a home-cooked meal, night off from doing the dishes, or any other creative get-out-of-chore-free card you can think of.
- Words of affirmation: Share words of encouragement through a handwritten note or journal.
- Homemade goodies: If you’ve got a special skill, you can most likely use it to create a low-cost but thoughtful gift. Can you bake? Make some homemade special treats. Are you an artist? Use your talents to share the love.
3. Spread the love (and financial burden) of gift-giving.
Do you have a large extended family? Consider having a conversation as a family about gifts in 2020 as a way to save money on holiday shopping. Maybe you can agree on spending limits, assign gift/giftee pairs so everyone’s not obligated to get a gift for everyone, or discuss other alternatives to your regular traditions. Two fun ideas to rein in spending but not joy:
- Secret Santa: Each person draws the name of a family member and is in charge of getting a gift for that person, and the group decides on a modest price range for the gifts. Tip: To help out the extended family, create a list of what each person likes, that way it’s easier to get gifts that aren’t guesses. Include easy favorites for each family member, like favorite candies, board games, hobbies and interests.
- Mall blitz: Assign giftees to each person and establish a maximum spending limit, set a timer and go! Everyone has limited time to find a gift and actively shops at the same time. For example, allow the entire mall to be in play and agree to meet back at the food court in exactly one hour. This can add fun and action to the shopping process, while keeping everyone’s individual spending down. You can adapt this to a virtual event, too! Just pick a date and time, choose a specific store(s) to shop online and check in via video chat while you shop.
4. Create memories with experiences over things.
Consider doing a family activity as a new tradition, rather than focusing on gifts. This may look a little different during 2020 due to social distancing requirements, but you can think about what activities your family enjoys that are still feasible during the current environment. For example, if your family loves the cinema, consider setting up a family movie night theater-style, with all the candy, popcorn and treats included. Create a firepit (if local laws allow) in your backyard and roast s’mores and share stories. Do a family photo scavenger hunt around the neighborhood. Have a board game or video game tournament where the winner gets the last slice of that apple pie everyone’s vying for. Sing karaoke in the living room, celebrity-impression style. Whatever fun looks like to your household, think about including it in the festivities.
5. Remember your local businesses.
During COVID-19, many local businesses have closed or are struggling, so it’s all the more important to continue supporting them over the holidays. According to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast, online shopping is expected to grow 25-35% in the 2020-2021 holiday season, as the ongoing pandemic keeps people at home.1 Whether you plan to shop online, in person or a mix of both, we encourage you to consider supporting a local business through your purchases and patronage. Learn more about ways to support local businesses.
1Deloitte. “A Tale of Two Holiday Seasons: As a K-Shaped Recovery Model Emerges, Consumer Spending Heavily Bifurcated.” Sept. 15, 2020. Accessed Oct. 27, 2020.
How to Find Your Routing & Account Numbers
When you make a payment online, by phone or on a mobile device, you may be asked for our routing number and your checking account number. Credit unions and banks use these numbers to identify accounts and make sure money gets where it’s supposed to be. You’ll also need to provide your routing and checking account numbers for:
- Direct deposits
- Electronic checks
- Military allotments
- Wire transfers
Where to Find Your Routing & Checking Account Numbers
Your personal checks include both our routing number and your account number, as shown on the Grow check example below.
Don’t have a Grow check? No worries.
Visit any Grow store and ask for a Direct Deposit Form. It lists both your routing number and checking account number.
Making a Loan Payment
When it comes to making payments, we try to make it as painless as possible to pay your loan every month. We have several different ways to pay, including convenient online options.
You have two ways to pay online by transferring funds from another bank or credit union.
- Grow Online Banking (Preferred payment method for any loan)
This is the simplest way to pay your loan. You can make one-time payments or set up automatic recurring payments in Grow Online Banking. Once you log in, select “Transfer/Payments” from the menu. If you’re not enrolled in Grow Online Banking yet, you can set up your account in just a few minutes.
- Debit Card or ACH (Available for auto, personal and home equity loans and HELOCs)
Note: ACH and debit card payments are not available for credit cards or most mortgages, except HELOCs.
We accept ACH payments with no additional fees or Mastercard® and Visa® debit cards with a convenience fee of $4.95. To get started with an online ACH or debit card payment, select Pay Now below.
Pay by Mail
You can also pay any Grow loan by check through the mail. Please remember to include your account number and Grow loan number on the check. (For credit card payments, please do not write your 16-digit credit card number on the check, which can cause a delay in processing the payment.)
Address for auto, credit card and personal loan payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 75466
Chicago, IL 60675-5466
Address for mortgage and home equity payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 11733
Newark, NJ 07101-4733