Give a Toy to Share the Joy!

trainlogoInsight is proud to support the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve as they bring hope and holiday cheer to less fortunate children through their Toys for Tots program.

Help us share the joy of the holidays! Simply bring a new, unwrapped toy to any of our branches by Friday, December 9. We’ll make sure your donations are delivered to well-deserving children in time for Christmas.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a difficult time, you can request toys on the Toys for Tots website. Click on “Request A Toy” and follow the instructions to find the Toys for Tots campaign in your local area.

4 Ways to Save for the Holidays

The holiday season always seems to have a way of sneaking up on us. We think we’re in good shape and then BAM! Our budget goes out the window as the gifts pile up. To keep you financially fit this holiday season, we put together a few tips that you can start implementing now to save you stress and money later. Check them out!

  • Make a list of who you’re going to buy for and try to jot down the gift(s) for those lucky people. Now make a commitment to stick to your list!
  • Start looking for sale prices for the items you’ve written down. Research online, in stores and in weekly ads to snatch up the item at the lowest price.
  • Start purchasing one or two gifts per paycheck NOW! The earlier the better! Leave a sticky note on the gift with the recipient’s name in your secret hiding place. Don’t have a hiding place? Try the next tip instead!
  • Start a Christmas Club account! Transfer cash from every paycheck into your Christmas Club account and don’t touch the money until you’re ready to start your holiday shopping. (If your financial institution doesn’t have a Christmas Club account, come check out ours.)

We hope these easy tips help you with your seasonal shopping. Plan ahead so you don’t break your budget! Do you have any other tips or habits to share? Leave a comment below and tell us how you stick to your budget during the holidays!

8 Tips to Steal the Best Deals on Black Friday

If yoblackfridaygraphicu’ve ever shopped on Black Friday, you know the frenzy of shoppers can often resemble the scene from The Hunger Games when the tributes fight for the best supplies. Black Friday shopping is not for the faint-hearted and requires strategic planning for success. That’s why we’ve compiled a few tips to arm yourself for the competition ahead. Happy Shopping! And may the odds be ever in your favor!

  • Make a game plan
    • Create a list of where you want to go and what you want to buy using apps, websites, and inserts from the daily newspaper. Apps like Black Friday Shopping compile all the Black Friday deals for you by retailer and category. Many stores’ apps can even guide you through their store as you’re walking around the aisles. Websites, such as tgiblackfriday.com and theblackfriday.com, are also great resources to compare prices and find the best bargains.
  • Research the products you want to buy
    • Make sure the products you’re interested in buying are actually quality products. A bad product isn’t worth the deal no matter how cheap it is. Check out online peer reviews in addition to expert reviews from consumerreports.org and goodhousekeeping.com.
  • Get an early start
    • If you snooze, you lose. To ensure you get everything on your list, head to the stores early or even before they open in case there’s a line at the door (there probably will be).
  • Bring a friend or family member
    • A friend or family member can keep you company while you’re waiting in line and serve as an extra pair of hands to grab everything on your shopping list.
  • Focus on electronics, not clothing
    • Many consumer electronics are at their lowest prices of the year on Black Friday. Clothing, shoes and accessories, on the other hand, are not. If you do decide to shop for clothing, don’t settle for anything less than 40% off the full retail price.
  • Bring store ads with you
    • Many stores offer a “lowest-price guarantee” on advertised items provided you show the ad as proof. Taking advantage of this deal could save you a trip to another store for that same item.
  • Don’t forget a gift receipt
    • If you’re purchasing holiday gifts, ask the cashier for a gift receipt to make returns or exchanges easier for the recipient. The receipt will have a description of the item, but won’t disclose the price.
  • Shop from the comfort of your home
    • If you’re not up for the Black Friday craziness, you can still shop online and find great deals. According to Dan de Grandpre, CEO of DealNews.com, “70% of Black Friday door busters were available, at least briefly, at the store’s websites.”

Stay tuned for tips on Cyber Monday shopping!