Makin’ a list, checkin’ it twice.
Before hitting the mall or your favorite online source, check with your budget to make sure there’s a surplus available for you to play Santa Claus. Make a plan and stick with it. Don’t let emotion get you in financial trouble. Running low on funds with more names on your list? Move them over to the naughty column!
OK, the naughty list can’t be the remedy for when you run short of funds. So we’ll need to keep going on finding a way to stretch those gift dollars. Start early. You may pick off some early season sales. Even if not, starting earlier keeps your options open and is less likely to push you into budget busting panic mode when deadlines loom and gifts have still not been purchased.
Get the Best Deal
There are always deals to be seized upon Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but let’s get a little more creative. Use a browser extension like Honey that will automatically try promo codes at checkout time. Make sure you’re not missing out on any easy deals and discounts. Use tools like Google Shopping to track prices. Set up an alerts for price discounts on items you’re thinking of buying.
Make the Most of Credit Card Rewards
Here again, starting early is key. You might need to get a new credit card to really maximize those cash back rewards. An internet search will point you on your way.
Consider Unconventional Gifts
It’s the thought that counts, right? If you’re crafty, make those gifts yourself. If you’re not, how about volunteering your services where they’re needed? Your grandmother would appreciate her driveway snow getting shoveled over a sweater featuring dogs playing poker. What about some of those magical cookies you make? Or even babysitting services? How about help putting up the holiday lights or taking them down? Even cleaning out a garage or basement can be a winner.
Bottom line, don’t make holiday largesse put you in a financial bind that becomes a New Year’s resolution!
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