September is here, which can only mean one thing-Christmas is around the corner.. It is only natural to get in the Christmas spirit and start spending money on gifts, decorations and holiday meals. Wouldn't it be nice to save money while providing a great Christmas for your family? Here are some Christmas-saving tips to prevent burning a hole in your wallet.
1. Make a list and stick to it. To some this may be self explanatory. Making a list will help you target what you are really looking for. Those who go shopping without a list may be more apt to spend more money by being distracted by other merchandise.
2. Start early. Staring early will help you budget between the gifts you are buying and other livelihood expenses such as mortgage payments, insurance, groceries, etc.
3. Get cash back. The internet has opened a whole new world for shopping. There are free sites such as Cash Crate, Inbox Dollars, Treasure Trooper and others that will pay you a cash back percentage when you shop through their site. They are partnered with name brand stores to provide the highest quality merchandise . They not only offer a cash back percentage, they also pay consumers to try out products. Money made from these sites can also give you extra money to purchase Christmas gifts. If you are interested in these programs, you may check them out here.
4. Save on wrapping paper. Let's face it-there is a lot of expensive decorative wrapping paper found in stores . To save money use newspaper. Another option is to use wrapping paper you already have (from any holiday) by wrapping the gift facing white side up and decorating it with Christmas stickers. These two tips will help you cut back on unnecessary costs and will enable you to spend more on gifts. Taking advantage of the after-Christmas specials will also cut you a deal on next year's wrapping paper.
5. Make your own Christmas Cards. Christmas cards can be expensive and impersonal. Creating your own cards will not only save money, but will give a Merry Christmas from the heart.
6. Prepare your Christmas menu early. There are some items on your grocery list that will stay fresh for a long time. Looking for sales on these items now will cut back on your grocery bill around Christmas.
7. If you are hosting dinner at your place for Christmas, ask others to contribute by bringing side dishes. You would be surprised by the willingness of others to contribute to the holiday meal.
8. Start a savings account. Starting a new savings account a dedicating it only to Christmas will help the age old question " How am I going to afford it". If your place of employment offers direct deposit, you may want to add your Christmas saving account to your direct deposit and set a certain amount to come out each paycheck.
9. Shop in the classifieds. The internet is flooded with people that are trying to sell something you may want. Craigslist.org is a free classified site that has a "wanted" section to post what you are looking for. Buying from individuals rather than stores will be cheaper.
10. Buy your Christmas decorations at discount stores. There are a lot of dollar stores that offer nice looking decorations for the holiday at a good bargain.
These methods work great if you are on a fixed income or just want to save money. Christmas is a time to spend with family and give gifts from the heart, not the wallet. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
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