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Saving Money During the Holidays

The holidays are wonderful and bring everyone together for good times and laughs — but let’s be honest, they are also stressful and can be a bit of a strain on your wallet. To keep yourself full of holiday cheer and your wallet still semi-full of cash, follow these easy tips.

By: Nick Massie / 2017 / PayYourRent.com
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The holidays are wonderful and bring everyone together for good times and laughs — but let’s be honest, they are also stressful and can be a bit of a strain on your wallet. To keep yourself full of holiday cheer and your wallet still semi-full of cash, follow these easy tips.

Start Early

Love it or hate it, holiday shopping starts earlier and earlier every year. You may feel ridiculous thinking about Christmas gifts in October, but it could save you serious money. Browsing apps like Invisible Hand show you when items you look at are cheaper elsewhere. For big retails sites like Amazon or eBay, you can set up price alerts and get notified any time the price drops in the months before Christmas using sites like Keepa. This is particularly useful for clothing and kid’s toys, which do not have an expiration date and can be stored away in a closet for a month or two.

It may sound odd, but you can do this with food, too. If your local supermarket has canned goods on sale, grab a few extras and store them in the back of the cupboard for when those hungry family members file in for the holidays. Try to think of your family’s favorite dishes and what ingredients will freeze well, saving you the hassle of a massive haul days before the big event and helping you keep to the budget.

 

Utilize Your Credit Cards

Put all your big purchases on a credit card, but pay them off straight away. Not only will it help your credit score, but you can also accumulate the benefits and rewards points from your credit company, which could help pay for other gifts. It also ensures you have a record of every gift you’ve bought and proof of purchase if anything needs to be exchanged. A detailed credit card statement could save you time digging through receipts when a gift inevitable has to go back.

 

Be Realistic with Yourself

Set a budget and stick to it. If you have several kids to buy presents for, set a limit for each of them and when you hit that amount, stop shopping. You want to give the people you love the world, but you also want to be able to afford things the rest of the year.

If there is a large, pricey item you want to buy, prioritize it. Start saving in advance and set up price alert online.

 

Be Realistic with Others

If you have some friends that tend to get extravagant with their gifts, don’t be afraid to talk to them about imposing a spending limit; it will make you more comfortable and enable you to enjoy the exchange more fully.

Similarly, if you tend to buy gifts for a big group of friends, suggest a Secret Santa instead. When you only have to buy one present, you can put more thought and money into that gift, so everyone gets something a bit nicer, as opposed to several smaller gifts.

What’s Next?

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