‘Tis the season for spending. But, just because every family member, friend, and neighbor within a three-mile radius has found their way onto your shopping list doesn’t mean you can’t be smart about holiday savings. Here are 5 tips for spending money the smart way this holiday season.
If Santa has to make a list and check it twice, you should follow suit. Write down the names of your family and friends, and estimate the amount you’d like to spend on each. Be as comprehensive possible (including prices for specific gift ideas) and don’t be afraid to pare down your spending once you see how much everything is going to cost. This tip might sound trivial, but making an actual list and sticking to a set holiday spending amount will save you much more money than spending without a plan.
If you’re going to be spending money this holiday season, you might as well get some sort of reward for your efforts. Using a credit card as a short term holiday loan to purchase your gifts can have huge benefits, especially if you have a card with great benefits. Think of it as a holiday gift to yourself for spending all that money on other people. And, if you plan to purchase new phones for the holidays, consider applying for Utah First Credit Union’s Orange Platinum Visa. With the Orange Platinum Visa Card, you get a great rate, great rewards, and the added benefit of cell phone protection by simply using the card to make your phone payments.
Retailers have made comparison shopping much easier in recent years. Not only will many stores match their competitors’ prices, but within the holiday window they’ll usually match their own, as well. This means you can shop at your convenience, and if you see a price adjustment down the line, simply present your receipt at the sales desk for a little holiday cash back. Be sure to ask whether your preferred stores offer the program before you buy, but this can be a great way to save money without having to fight crowds on popular shopping days.
Just because you have a lot of people on your holiday shopping list, doesn’t mean you have to go overboard for everyone. Homemade cards, gifts, and holiday treats are a thoughtful and inexpensive way to spread holiday cheer. Frame a family picture for your relatives and deliver a plate of homemade cookies to your neighbors. Remember, holiday spending is not a competition – it really is the thought that counts.
Here’s a holiday shopping pro tip that you probably already know: shopping online is less hectic than going to stores, and it usually saves you money, too. Seriously, though, shopping online is a great way to compare prices and find great holiday deals. In fact, most of the popular search engines come equipped with shopping tools that automatically compare prices and link you to online retailers. And, if you’re not already an Amazon Prime member, now might be a good time to jump on board. Even if you’re not keen on a full year membership, you can usually find a free 30-day Amazon Prime trial, which will give you all the benefits, including early access to deals and free 2-day shipping.
Be smart about spending this holiday season. If you plan it right, you can find amazing deals and get great rewards, all with the added benefit of being everyone’s favorite holiday hero. Happy Holidays and happy shopping!
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