10 Practical Ways to Save Money Over the Holiday Season and Throughout the Year
The Holidays Are Here!
With the holidays in near sight, a lot of last minute shoppers are trying to save a buck, but not skimp on the quality of presents for family and friends. Here is a quick list of ways to save for the holidays coming up, and for other special occasions during the year!
#1 - Amazon.com
Amazon.com is one the best places to get name brands and the gift you are looking for brand new and on a discount! With really secure and safe shopping, you don’t have to worry about getting scammed or sending you credit card information over to an unknown website. Amazon.com has many sellers with different prices as well, so you’re free to choose the best offer for you. They also offer many shipping choices as well as free shipping, and you can be assured to receive your gifts before the holidays.
#2 - Look for Special Holiday Deals and Coupons in the Sunday Newspapers
During the holidays, stores know many people are going to go shopping for presents and other holiday needs and are looking for the best deals. There is a lot of competition between stores and products, and by getting the Sunday newspapers you get so many advertisements and coupons showing all of their deals. If you prefer going out to the stores to shop, this is your best bet in finding the best deals and taking advantage of it! There are great deals on Black Friday, but there are also great sales every week even up until the New Year and after.
#3 - End of the Year Clearance Sales
The great thing about having the holidays at the end of the year is that many stores and companies are trying to clear out old products so that they can introduce new products for the New Year. Take advantage of that! Many of these products are excellent but because they are introducing a new product (sometimes with only a slight change) they are willing to sell the older version with a huge discount. This can happen throughout the year, and if you’re looking for a certain product (for example a phone or a car) try buying a previous version if you want a good discount. It’s not always the best choice, or money savvy to get the latest model right when it’s released. You could be just as happy (and have more money in your pocket) with a slightly older version. End of the year clearance sales are also good for next year's gift giving if you’re thinking ahead!
#4 - Sign Up for Store Rewards Cards or Email Lists
Store rewards cards might not seem worth your time at first, but if you frequent a store, you can save up to hundreds of dollars during the year. A lot of stores give really good discounts, coupons, and rewards when using these cards or when you’re on their mailing list. Some rewards cards do take a form of a credit card, but not all. Even the ones that do take the form of a credit card, many times they allow you to pay it up front at the store. So if you already have the cash on you, it’s a good idea to pay it upfront to avoid excess bills, fees, or interest.
#5 - Only Purchase Items When on Sale
Another way to save is to refuse to buy anything (especially big purchases) full-price. Only purchase items while they're on sale. Not only will you feel good about the purchase, but also you save a lot of money in the long run. Almost everything goes on sale or has a special at some point. Get it when it’s on sale, or buy it where it is. Sometimes going online may be the best option for items that rarely go on sale.
#6 - Think Quality over Quantity
When purchasing a gift for someone, get to know what he or she really wants or needs. Sometimes 1 or 2 really good gifts can mean more then 4 or 5 so-so gifts. Even though one gift may cost a lot, it’ll probably cost less than the 4 or 5 gifts that person didn’t really want anyways. You may think that because you are giving more gifts that will make them happier, but this is not true. It’s quality over quantity with gifts! You save more, they are happier, and everyone wins!
During This Holiday Season Will You Be Using Your Credit Card?
#7 - Refuse to Use the Credit Card
Using credit cards in general is not a good idea if you want to be money savvy. If you don’t pay if off right away, you are literally giving away your hard earned money for nothing. Sure, it’s ok to keep a credit card for emergencies (I prefer a savings account), but if you’re using it for day-to-day shopping you are most likely going to be in debt at some point, or at least lose a lot of money for no reason! Don’t worry about “building credit” you can do that by just paying your recurring bills on time. Having a credit card for some people is just too much temptation to shop unnecessarily, or buy things they really don’t need at the moment. Just stick to your budget for gift buying, or save a little money during the fall to use for the holidays. If you really want a credit card always pay off the statement balance monthly if you can.
#8 - Utilize Ebay.com
Ebay.com can be used in two ways to help save money over the holidays. For one, you can find a lot of discounted and rare gifts to buy. There are also many sellers of any one product, so it's easy to find the best deal. The second way to save money is to make more money. This is a good time to sell your unwanted items at home so you can make more cash to spend during the holidays. It’s a perfect selling time because more people are looking to purchase many different items for gifts. You might be able to sell enough that it pays for all of your gifts and then some!
#9 - Shop Online
Shopping online in general is a really good option when looking to save the most money during the holidays. This is because you have access to almost every store and every offer available. It’s easier to look for the best deal and also research good gift ideas. There are also more items available to you, and you rarely have to worry about a store being out of the item you are looking for. Being able to compare prices is also easier so you don’t have to settle with the price that one store may offer.
#10 - Never Accept the First Offer (Where Applicable)
The last tip on saving money over the holidays is to not accept the first offer. Especially when making a big purchase where negotiations are possible (like buying a car or dealing with a private seller), it’s best to see if they’ll cut you a deal! Most times sellers hike up the price initially because they want to get the most from a sale that they can. While that’s understandable on their part, they also want to make the sale more and are willing to negotiate. It’s up to you to make sure you are getting the best/fair deal so don’t be afraid to show that you know the product and it’s worth!