Being Smart With Your Budget This Holiday Season
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Chase Ultimate Rewards. All opinions are 100% mine.
Growing up in a family with very modest means, my parents and grandparents lived as frugally as possible, and taught my brother, sister and I how to do the same. We camped for our vacations, almost never ate out, canned and froze food from our garden, wore hand me downs, and did our own car repairs and home improvements. I don’t think as children we felt any lack though! My parent’s wise saving and spending allowed for splurging around the holidays, and Christmas morning was always highly anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed.
As an adult, wife of 25 years, and mother of three, I’ve tried to be wise as well with my husband’s income, since I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Even so though, we splurge a little around the holidays, and still buy gifts for all of our extended families, just to show them we love them and are thinking of them.
Credit cards used to be taboo among extremely frugal people, however, in this day and age, it’s almost a necessity to have a credit card in order to book hotels or rental cars and to shop online. Because of this, we need to make sure to teach our children how to be smart with them so they will grow into financially savvy adults.
My hubby and I have learned that when used correctly, credit cards can be beneficial for a lot of reasons: you can pay bills all in one place, you can keep track of spending easily, and some even offer extended services.
Also, today many cards offer lots of very nice incentives.
A few years ago we started using a credit card for nearly all of our purchases, since we began to earn points for free hotel stays, which we’ve been able to enjoy and share with friends. We pay our card off in full every month, and I go through my statement and deduct our purchases from my budget categories so that we are aware of how much we are spending on our groceries, clothing, etc…
Different cards offer different benefits. Like the Chase Ultimate Rewards program (available to Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire and Ink from Chase cardholders), where you can earn points on every purchase, from monthly bills to groceries or gas and of course, holiday gifts! The points you earn can then be redeemed for cash back, gift cards,merchandise, travel or experiences like concerts or even movie premieres.
This month would be a good time to use a rewards credit card, whether it’s to earn more points when shoppping or redeem points for gifts. If you use Ultimate Rewards, merchandise and gift cards are available at the same price you’d pay in store, so there are no mark-ups. A $50 gift card costs 5,000 points. Maybe you need extra cash? You can get cash back via direct deposit starting at $20 for 2,000 points.
Chase also offers extra incentives to cardholders with Ultimate Rewards during the holidays.
My kids, husband and I use our hotel points every year for a 4 day trip to visit my husband’s extended family in New England, and usually my sister and I squeeze in a blog weekend at a hotel with room service!
If you’re looking for a credit card with benefits, check out what Chase Ultimate Rewards has to offer, and shop responsibly! 🙂