14 November 2023
Tis the Season to be Savvy: Navigating Christmas Loans, Shopping Deals, and Thrift
'Tis the Season to be Savvy: Navigating Christmas Loans, Shopping Deals, and Thrift
As the holiday season approaches, many of us are gearing up for a time of joy, relaxation, and festivities. However, it's also a season that can take a toll on our wallets, prompting some to consider Christmas loans to fund their celebrations. While it's essential to make the most of this special time, being financially savvy is crucial to ensure you start the new year on solid financial footing.
The Christmas Loan Conundrum
It's no secret that the holiday season can be expensive. From gifts and decorations to festive feasts and travel expenses, the costs can add up quickly. Proper budgeting and savvy shopping as we explore below, can make the festive season far more enjoyable.
We do however recognise, after serving the Defence Force Community for the past thirty years, that even with a sensible budget and smart shopping habits in place, a small, affordable loan is often needed to get households over the holiday hump.
With this in mind, we remind that both our 7.9% Annual Loan and our 6.9% Welcome Loan (if you are eligible to apply for this one) are good low cost options, as demonstrated by our calculations below:
Weekly repayment amount
Total amount to repay
Total cost of borrowing
ANSAC Annual Loan @ 7.9%
ANSAC Welcome Loan @ 6.9%
€500 Christmas Loans Promo
As a small thank you to our members who apply for their Christmas Loan that little bit earlier - any member who applies for any ANSAC Credit Union Loan during the month of November will be entered into a draw to win €500 lodged to their account – Just in time for Christmas!
Amidst the Shopping Frenzy: Black Friday and Cyber Monday
One of the significant contributors to holiday spending is the allure of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. While these shopping events can offer substantial discounts, they also pose a considerable risk if not approached with caution. Black Friday often boasts a plethora of claims like 'previously priced at €100, now just €50,' but it's essential not to be misled by these 'anchor prices.'
For instance, take the Toshiba 43UL2163DBC TV, which was marketed at €279 at Very during Black Friday in 2021, accompanied by a touted saving of €100 compared to its supposedly original price of €379. However, it was revealed that the TV had been listed at €379 for just three days in the month leading up to Black Friday. Following this, it maintained a price of €279 until the 22nd of December 2021, when it was further reduced to €275.
Even on Amazon, you should exercise caution since the platform characterizes every price reduction as a promotion, meaning that even a minute price drop of a single cent will be highlighted as a discount.
Here are some tips to help you discern legitimate deals from potential traps:
- Do Your Research: Before the sales kick off, make a list of items you genuinely need or want to purchase. Compare prices across different retailers to ensure that the discounts are genuine. Not all Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals are created equal.
- Beware of Impulse Purchases: Retailers often use limited time offers and "doorbuster" deals to create a sense of urgency. Be wary of falling into the trap of impulse buying, as it can lead to overspending.
- Check the Return Policy: Understand the return and exchange policies for items purchased during these sales. Some items may be final sale or subject to stricter return conditions.
- Guard Your Personal Information: Be cautious when shopping online. Ensure that the websites you use are secure and trustworthy. Look for the padlock symbol in your browser's address bar, use secure payment methods, and avoid sharing excessive personal information.
- Set a Budget: Determine in advance how much you're willing to spend during these sales and stick to your budget. It's easy to get carried away when presented with numerous enticing offers.
In the spirit of the season, let us not forget the true meaning of Christmas: spending quality time with loved ones and showing appreciation for each other. While gift-giving is a wonderful tradition, it's essential to remember that the value of a gift is not solely measured by its price tag. Thoughtful, meaningful gifts often have more significance than expensive ones.
In conclusion, the holiday season is a time to celebrate and share love with family and friends, but it's also a season that requires careful financial planning. Be a savvy shopper during Black Friday and Cyber Monday as well as Christmas sales. By budgeting wisely, seeking out thrift, and approaching the season with mindfulness, you can ensure that your holidays are both joyous and financially responsible.