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Holiday Savings Tips

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    Holiday Savings Tips

    Holidays typically require planning, from wish lists, shopping lists, baking lists and more. But before all that you'll need to decide up front how much money you can afford to spend on the holidays. You need to rethink giftgiving and consider some creative ways to curb your holiday spending and make it less stressful for you and your family.

    Avoid Buying Holiday Gifts on Credit

    You can save money this holiday by spending only what you have in your bank account. When you buy a $20 gift on credit, you're basically telling the credit card company they'll pay them that $20 back plus another 20% in interest each month until the balance is paid off. Unless you're able to pay off the balance you could still be paying for that $20 gift card 30 years from now.

    Examine Your Intentions

    What is the point of giftgiving? It is really not to reciprocate a dollar amount. Instead the point is to acknowledge that another person's positive influence on our life and to say thank you or I love you. You don't have to allow yourself to be caught up in spending more on holiday gifts then you really can afford.

    Keep Track of Your Spending

    Homemade Gifts

    Spend less money by using a holiday planning worksheet to keep track of all the gifts you buyer make and record the amount of money spent on each person. This tool can help you stay within your budget and you enjoy the holidays and the months following.

    Develop Your Own Gift Guidelines

    There are ways to temper demanding kids during the holidays. Consider setting a specific amount dollar wise for each child and staying to it. You can decide also to limit the number of gifts per child. There will always be people who spend more on their kids but don't try to keep up with the Jones.

    DIY or By Slightly Used Gifts

    If you're on a limited budget you can consider making gifts. It can be a fun project for the kids and will help you spend less money during the holidays. Homemade gifts like bread, cookies, candy or fudge are delicious and great ways to say thank you or let someone know that they are special to you. You can also save money by purchasing nearly new items on and go in with other relatives to save money also.

    By being creative and keeping your mind focused on the real meaning of giftgiving you can keep the cultures "buy more" at bay. Remember that your efforts to curb your holiday spending will free up more cash for the coming year and that's the best holiday gift you can give yourself and kids.

    Get social

    Virtual Coupons

    You can follow your favorite brands on Facebook and Instagram and get more than styling advice and pictures of your must-have merchandise. Some brands such as Anthropologie, Kate Spade, and Rebecca Minkoff can advertise/sales to followers.

    Cut those virtual coupons

    Always look for coupon codes on websites or on cash back sites. Google the brand name "promo code" and you can find what is the latest offered. Sometimes when you leave your items in your shopping cart you can add up to extra savings. You can end up with a pop up coupon code that will get you to come back to your purchase or even an email with the discount offer.

    Check Out the Ads and the Apps

    These days a great number of stores offer the "lowest price" guarantee, but do remember that you will need to show proof that the same product is being offered for less by some retailer. So make sure you bring any print ads you've saved to show at the store.

    Many local retailers don't offer products at prices advertised on their company's website. However, it doesn't hurt to try. Consider printing the webpage that advertises the product at the special price as even if you fail to get the product at the lower price the salesperson might offer you some store discount which is also nice.

    Keep in mind, though, that some stores that typically offer lowest price guarantee won't do it on door buster and early bird specials.

    For quicker and easier access to the best deals we recommend using Android and iOS apps designed to make shopping easier. These apps will notify you when the stores run sales and offer promo codes or special deals. They can even help find the best way to get to the store and the vacant spot to park your car as well as compare prices.