- Personal Finance
Save Money During Christmas
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Unless you still need to complete your Christmas shopping, it may be a little late this year. But read this, and next year you will be on your way to saving money during the holiday season:
Start Shopping Early- If you start early, you will reap the benefits of smaller crowds, better stock, and real deals. When the holidays get close, many stores hide or get rid of their clearance racks, and stop having normal sales. This is because they know many people will be shopping and looking to buy, and they do not need to offer sales to get people in the door. Keep your ears open for things people on your list would want, and try to find it on sale before the holiday rush.
Price Compare Online vs. In Store- once you find an item, do a little homework. Check online to see if other stores are offering a better deal, or if it would be cheaper, or less hassle to buy online. Many times people will find sales that are very close to matching the black Friday door buster deals, all without the time in line and dealing with hoards of people.
Use Ebates- if you do shop online, use Ebates to save a few extra dollars and earn some cash back for yourself.
Use leftover gift cards- This is one of my favorites! You get gift cards all the time, and they mostly just sit and are never used. If you can use the holidays as a chance to clean out your gift cards. Find a store that fits someone you are buying a gift for and have a gift card to. Then use that gift card towards the purchase. Not only did you save money, but you put those few dollars left on a gift card to use!
Use Credit Cards- if you have a good credit card, and use it properly, you do not carry a balance, and you are collecting some type of reward for using it. The holidays are a great time to stock up on those rewards. Simply pay for everything with your card, collect the rewards, pay off the card. That way you are giving gifts and receiving some rewards for yourself.
Use your hobby’s or interests to make gifts- if you have a hobby or interest, incorporate that into your gift giving. For example, I had a bunch of extra computer parts laying around from my days of building computers. I took some hard drives, bought an external enclosure, and made external hard drives for some family. I filled them with music, movies, and TV shows that I had that I knew they liked. That way they could use it for backing up information, and I didn’t spend much on the gift. Whether you knit, blow glass, smoke your own meats, you can use that hobby to give great personalized gifts.
Write a letter instead of a gift- if you are short on dough, give from the heart instead of the wallet. Take some time and pen a thoughtful, handwritten letter. Talk about memories you have of the person, what you admire about them, how proud you are of them. I guarantee they will enjoy reading that, and rereading it for years to come. (especially parents)
Frame a picture- Another low budget idea is to grab a picture and frame it. Find one that is meaningful. The frame doesn’t have to be expensive, but it’s the memory that is incased in the picture that they will enjoy. Combine that with a letter about your memories of the picture and you will have one great gift!
Those are just a few ways you can save money during the holiday season. Do you have any other good ideas?