Preparing to Enjoy the Holidays

Adam Smith

Adam Smith
Credit Union Underwriter

Its August already… it always feels like the months come and go faster every year. Before you know it stores (if they haven’t already) will start to have Halloween candy and pumpkins out. But as we know all too well in the world of retail and shopping, we go from Trick or Treat to the man in the red suit and his eight tiny reindeer. The most wonderful time of the year will be here before you know it, and the big question is will you be ready? The good news is that GCEFCU has some ways to help you plan so you can actually enjoy the holidays.

Working at Gulf Coast Educators, I have had the opportunity to talk to and help a lot of people during the holiday season. What I have come to find is that we all tend to have the same stress and worries. We don’t have enough time to shop and always end up spending more money than planned. Every year we always tell ourselves the same thing “I’m going to start my shopping early this year” only to wind up in the middle of the chaos with a week left before Christmas. We have all heard the saying “If you fail to plan, plan to fail” and it is true. If you make a list of people you buy gifts for and how much you will spend on each, this is a very simple and easy tool to help you stay on or under your budget and save time.

When it comes to Christmas shopping it can be hard to stay on budget and make sure you have saved enough. Gulf Coast Educators has a solution to your problem. Our Christmas club account is designed to take the worry out of saving for the holidays. The Christmas club is an account that you can open under your existing membership, and set up an amount to be automatically transferred at your choice. The best part is that you can open this account and start saving during any part of the year. Around the first week in November, your balance will be transferred into your savings account and ready to use, and you have access to your money any time you need it. So if you opened your Christmas club in January and you deposit $25 twice a month when you get paid, you have $500 set aside ready to use for those Black Friday sales. The Christmas club is a service that GCEFCU offers to give you peace of mind, during what can be a stressful season.

Another service that is available now, is you can use your GCEFCU debit card on Apple Pay. If you have an IPhone that has Apple Pay you can add your debit card info and with a tap of your phone use it at all your favorite participating retailers. This is just another way that you can have peace of mind knowing that you don’t have to carry your debit card with you and risk losing it or having it stolen. Now all you need is your phone and you are ready to shop till you drop!

Besides helping you save money and time GCEFCU can also help with gift ideas as well. We offer VISA gift cards for all those friend and family members that are hard to find the perfect gift for. For just a small activation fee, you can purchase VISA gift cards at any branch location and in a matter of minutes have a gift card for any amount ranging from $25 up to $1,000. Now you can cross that hard to shop for person off your list. Also at any of our branch locations, you can purchase discount AMC or Cinemark movie tickets, which would make fantastic stocking stuffers.

The upcoming holiday season can be stressful if you don’t prepare properly. Whether it’s helping you budget and save money, saving you time by making your shopping streamlined, or helping with gift ideas ( sometimes even last minute ones) Gulf Coast Educators is here to help. These are just some of the ways we can help you save money, time and peace of mind, so you can enjoy a stress free holiday season.