Johnson Funding and Harrison Funding are offering 3.09% and 3.03% APR loan offers that are simply unrealistic unless you have excellent credit. Crixeo, the popular news and review site, has done a review of Johnson Funding and Harrison Funding and is still waiting to hear from someone who has been approved with an interest rate this low. Or Is it simply part of a long-running bait and switch scam?
According to Ed Miles of Crixeo, “The story is the same. They lure you in by sending you direct mail with a “personalized invitation code” and a low 3.03% APR to consolidate your high-interest credit card debt into a new personal loan. You will be directed to the My Johnson Funding or My Harrison Funding website. You will not qualify for one of their personal loan offers unless your credit score is above 700 and they will try and flip you into a more expensive debt product.
The holidays have finally arrived! They are all about spreading joy and being together. However, this year, things might be different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With global death rates at an all-time high, travel bans imposed, and people’s livelihoods as well as health at stake, this year’s Christmas might require more merriment than the usual.
However, that does not have to mean that you must break your bank to spread joy. Holidays most often come with a tendency to overspend, as people get carried away with buying presents and spending hundreds of dollars on entertainment.
This year, you want to cut back on your spending to avoid needing a credit card hardship plan in January 2021. You don’t want to start the new year with a huge debt, particularly amidst the current pandemic when things have become more unpredictable than usual. Here are some great affordable ways you and your family can enjoy the holiday season without destroying your budget.
1. Create a Holiday Budget
Before you dive full-swing into the holiday season, it would be wise to create a budget for yourself that you can stick to. This budget should be based on your income and can include the amount allotted to buying presents for your loved ones and entertainment costs. Experts state that your holiday budget should not essentially exceed 1.5% of your total salary.
Here are some of the expenses you need to consider in your holiday budget:
- Groceries for Christmas dinners and parties
- Decorations for the tree and around the house
- Wrapping paper, tape, and other supplies
- Donations for charities
- Outfits for Christmas parties
- Shipping costs of Christmas presents and all the shopping you do since most will be online
2. Master the ’10-Second’ Rule
This is a useful tool when you are shopping for holiday presents and are on a budget. We often get carried away with small, inexpensive items that may not seem to cause a dent in our budget. However, it is these small purchases that ultimately take up a considerable chunk of our credit card balance. For this purpose, you should use the ten second rule when shopping.
The ten second rule states that you must keep the item you want to buy in your hand and think about it carefully for ten seconds. Think about whether you really need it, ask yourself if it is something you should be spending on, or if the money can be used elsewhere. Chances are, you will be putting the item back.
Currently, due to the pandemic, most shops and malls are closed, and you will likely have to do online shopping instead. However, you can still use this rule by observing the item and spending ten seconds thinking whether it is worth the cost.
3. Cooperate and Collaborate
If you love to host but are struggling with your budget, do not be afraid to ask for help from your family. Ask them to contribute and pitch in a certain amount, or bring an extra dish from home. However, be mindful that food is just one component of a Christmas party. Thus, you can ask them to get more than just an extra dish; for example, they can take care of the drinks and decoration.
You can also save up on the costs of a party, and for safety purposes, host a virtual Christmas party instead. This would be safer, cheaper and easier to execute.
4. Create Experiences
Since it is safer to stay indoors and not travel, look for indoor experiences you can enjoy at home. These are likely to be much cheaper than a vacation or traveling elsewhere. Besides, the gift of an experience is typically much more valuable and enjoyable than a tangible present. Some of the experiences you can create at home or outdoors in secluded and uncrowded areas include:
- Family scavenger hunt
- A Christmas movie marathon
- Holiday game night
- A bonfire pot luck where everyone can bring their food and refreshments (for safety purposes)
- Volunteer as a family at a charity organization
5. Stick to Homemade and Creative Gifts
If you cannot afford to buy presents from stores, don’t worry. This year, you can offer creative and personalized presents instead. In fact, you can also offer up your time and acts of service instead of gifting a tangible present. For example, gift your family services, such as walking their dog for a week, offering to bake them a cake, babysitting their kids, and so on. Another exciting idea is to gift them a coupon book, which contains several services you want to offer them.
6. Plan to Buy from Sales and Discounted Stores
There is a reason why there are massive sales, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, right before Christmas. If you’re not able to afford so many presents, you can make the most of these sales. Besides that, aim to shop for gifts only from discounted stores and places where you can avail discounts using coupons. In the end, you will be able to save up a lot of money.
7. Reduce the Number of Gifts
This year has been tough financially. Hence, you should consider whether you need to give everyone you know a present or not. Perhaps, gift presents to only those who genuinely need them, such as the kids.
The Bottom Line
Cutting back on your holiday expenditure will allow you to start the new year comfortably and with less stress. Given the state of the economy, that is the best thing you can do right now. At the end of the day, holidays are about spending quality time with family, celebrating love, laughter, and health. Thus, it would be best if you enjoyed the things that truly matter.