Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
Throwing a festive party can be the high point of your holiday season—but it can also be a jolt to your holiday budget if you’re not careful. Here are a few ways to warmly welcome friends and family while hanging on to your cold cash:
1. Multiply the fun: If you’re having multiple small groups over for dinner during the holidays, don’t reinvent the wheel. Plan just one menu (or maybe two), and serve the same thing for every group; they’ll never know! You can save time by making and freezing a big batch of the same dessert—like decorated holiday cookies—or multiples of a casserole-type main dish. You’ll be saving money by buying the ingredients at one time on the best sale you find. Your own family may get tired of the same fare, so buy them a lunch out the next day with your savings.
2. Stay in season: Plan your menu around produce and fruit that’s in season during the holidays—it’s much cheaper. For instance, choose tangerines for your fruit tray instead of imported fresh blueberries. If a main dish calls for an item that’s spendy in the winter, like fresh red peppers, find a cheaper substitute, like canned tomatoes, or skip it altogether.
3. Simplify drinks: You don’t need to provide a full bar to guests. Choose one or two wines (inexpensive ones, disguised in pretty carafes) and maybe one specialty mixed drink, served in a pitcher.
4. Decorate on a dime: Focus your holiday lights and decorations in the rooms most used by guests, such as your living room and dining room. You don’t need to deck out the kitchen or powder room. And remember, candles are some of the most elegant—and least expensive—decorations of all.
5. Go bulk: Warehouse clubs sell large trays of tasty hors d’oeuvres that just require heating. They’re often much cheaper than making your own.
6. Make it a potluck: Family and friends love to bring something to parties, so have them share in the cooking. You’ll save money, and they’ll have a chance to showcase one of their favorite treats, like Aunt Mabel’s famous three-layer dip. Add to the fun by asking everyone to bring multiple copies of their recipes for other guests to take home as favors.
7. Stack the (food) deck: If you serve a buffet, take a lesson from restaurants: Place the filling, less expensive food (rolls, veggies, starchy casseroles) at the head of the line, near the plates, so guests fill up on those first. Serve meat and more expensive items toward the end of the line, so guests naturally take less.
8. Host during off-hours: Have a cookies and hot cocoa party at 3 p.m. or a dessert buffet at 8 p.m. Guests won’t expect a full meal, so you’ll spend less. Terms like “light hors d’oeuvres ” on an invitation also signal guests to plan on eating before or after your shindig.
The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.