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If paying for presents out of pocket just isn’t realistic for your budget, consider taking out a holiday loan with Lafayette Federal Credit Union.

How to shop smart this holiday season

December is upon us, and with it comes the holiday shopping frenzy. We all know it’s important to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list, but that comes with a cost, and it can be a big one. If you’re not prudent, holiday gift giving could really wreak havoc on your personal finances.

Don’t drown yourself in holiday expenses. Follow these five tips to shop smart this holiday season:

1.Set a realistic budget (and stick to it!)

Before you set out for the mall or jump online to peruse for gifts, be sure to have an idea of just how much you can spend on your loved ones this year. You don’t want to overspend and end up short on paying your bills (that wouldn’t be a very fun way to start the new year). So, sit down with your budget and come up with a realistic expenditure number, then stick to it! Once you know your number, you can divide it up accordingly among each person on your gift list.

2. Consider taking out a holiday loan.

If paying for all those presents out of pocket just isn’t realistic for your budget, consider getting a little help by taking out a holiday loan. Lafayette Federal Credit Union is running a special this year that is hard to beat. With rates as low as 4.74% APR*, you can borrow up to $10,000 for 36 months. Take advantage of one, and you can fund those all-too-perfect big-ticket items without breaking the bank.

3. Don’t procrastinate.

Have you heard of the six Ps? Prior, Proper, Planning, Prevent, Poor, Performance! If you’re following your holiday budget, give yourself time to shop thoughtfully. You can look for better deals on the purchases you want to make by price checking online or visiting multiple stores. This way, you won’t find yourself buying something overpriced just because it’s two days before Christmas and you haven’t gotten anything for Dad yet.

4. Buy last year’s models.

From electronics to outdoor gear, retailers are putting out new versions of the latest gadgets each year. There may be a few design improvements or added bells and whistles, but more often than not, last year’s model is just as good as this year’s, and it comes with a serious price drop. Consider buying the latest and greatest of 2017—you’ll be doing your wallet a huge favor.

5. Shop the sales.

It’s the oldest shopping hack in the game—avoid buying anything full price. Even if you missed Black Friday or Cyber Monday, stores run holiday deals throughout the season to entice shoppers. In fact, studies have shown that shopping one-day blowout sales on Black Friday might not even be worth it. Chances are, you’ll find great s for just about everything on your list well into December.

Let Lafayette Federal Credit Union take the stress out of holiday budgeting this year with a holiday loan. Rates are as low as 4.74% APR.* It’s as easy as applying online today!