10 Ways to Save During the Holidays
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10 Ways to Save During the Holidays

Posted on Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 at 6:12 pm
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By shopping smart during the holiday season, you can start your new year stress and debt free.

By shopping smart during the holiday season, you can start your new year stress and debt free. Here are 10 tips and tricks to help you save money this holiday season.

How to Save During the Holidays

  1. Set a budget. Before you do anything else, set a budget for your holiday shopping and stick to it!
  2. Make a list. Now that you have set your budget, make a list of everything you need for the holidays (gifts, food, cards, decorations, etc). Check prices and prioritize. This way, if you hit your budget limit by the end of the list it won’t matter as much.
  3. Pay cash. Before setting out into the shopping world, go to the ATM and withdraw your budget in cash. Leave the checkbook, debit card, and credit cards at home. It’s way too easy to get carried away with Christmas shopping and having a credit card in your possession can give the false impression of limitless spending. Think of your credit card as a very temporary loan… and leave it at home. Seriously.
  4. Plan ahead. Plan ahead as far as possible to avoid paying high last-minute prices. You’ll have a larger selection and more time to watch for sales and coupons when you plan ahead.
  5. Don’t let the price tag pressure you. Don’t feel like you have to get everyone on your list a new 40″ flat-screen TV. Be realistic with your shopping. Look for gifts that will be thoughtful and meaningful to each individual on your list. This could be a beautiful vase you found at a flea market or book from a second-hand book store with a personalized note from you inside. If you can’t afford to spend any money, make your own gifts or personalized coupon books!
  6. Don’t let the sale signs fool you. You’re going to see sale signs everywhere. Period. Don’t let these oh-so-persuading signs fool you though. It’s the price that counts, not the sale sign. Stores know that people are more likely to make a purchase when they think they are getting a deal or sale. Be smart and compare prices first to make sure you’re getting the lowest price.
  7. Make a donation. Instead of feeling like you have to buy everyone gifts, think of a charity that is important to them and make a donation in their name.
  8. Shop online for deals. There are great deals to be found online through websites such as Amazon and eBay. But order now! Time is running out!
  9. Shop after Christmas for next Christmas. There’s nothing wrong with last years’ model. Plan ahead for next year by shopping the amazing post-Christmas sales and discounts this year!
  10. Most importantly, remember the meaning of the season. No matter what, don’t forget to step back from all the shopping and bargain hunting to remember what the holidays are all about – spending time with our friends and families. Make time to appreciate the little things. It’s not about how much you spend, it really is the thought that counts 🙂

 

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.