NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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Saving Holiday Dollars

Saving Holiday Dollars

           

            The ads are already calling our name – sales on that perfect Christmas gift, this year’s hottest décor ideas, new furnishings for the holidays so there is a seat for everyone at the dinner table. American families spend an average of just over $700 during the holiday season. Unfortunately, a significant part of expenditure is done on credit, at huge interest rates. This brings along a lot of debt, which usually destroys people’s cheer after the holiday. If you wish to avoid this, check the following tips, for a great holiday without unpleasant financial consequences:

  • Make a List: Writing down the items that you want to purchase can help you to avoid spending money on unnecessary things. Additionally, the list will remind you to buy everything that you need in order to spend a wonderful holiday with your family.  And then remember to record Your Purchases:  Keeping track of your purchases can help you to understand whether you will exceed the limit of your budget or not.
  • Stick to Your Budget: Another great financial tip that can help you to avoid holiday overspending is to stay within your budget. If you are tempted to spend more money than you should, you can shop together with one of your friends, who can provide a voice of reason whenever you need it.
  • Take the Time to Look for Bargains & Look Early: Although you cannot find some really good deals during the holiday season, there are major price variations among the same products provided by different stores. To benefit from these variations, you should take the time to compare certain offers. Another great idea would be to look for presents before prices go up for the official shopping season.  Shopping early also had the benefit of spreading the costs out over a longer period of time so your budget doesn’t take a large hit all at once.
  • Check Return Policies: It is very important to verify the return policies of various stores prior to buying gifts. These policies indicate the terms that all customers who intend to return goods must comply with and mainly relate to time frames and condition of goods.
  •  Go Online for More Savings -Finding great savings online has never been easier. Cost comparisons, product ratings, and customer reviews make finding gifts online really quick and easy. The internet can provide you with the information to make an informed decision as to whether the price you’re paying is competitive and reasonable and whether you are actually buying a quality product.
  • Don’t Forget Gift Cards Many stores have recently started gift card discounts that have made them a budget buy. Some stores and restaurants are offering deals such as, buy a $100 gift card and receive a $25 gift card free. This type of deal can cover two gifts for the price of one and help keep your budget under control.
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