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Smart Spending During the Holidays

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The National Retail Federation predicts that the average American will spend over $900 during this year’s holiday shopping season. Most will be spent on gifts, food and decoration. We take a look at each major spending area and offer some smart spending tips to save you money this holiday season. Set a Budget and Use Cash These two tips go hand in hand; when you set a budget and use cash, you’ll be able to physically watch your holiday spending budget get smaller and smaller. Watching your budget slowly dwindle will, according to money experts, make you slow down with your spending. According to NerdWallet, an online budget resource, credit cards cause shoppers to spend more and to purchase on impulse. The setting a budget part can be tricky, but most financial advisers suggest creating a holiday budget after necessities have been paid for. Shop Thrift Stores for Gifts Used gifts sound like a put off, but local thrift stores are known for housing vintage, unique and one-of-a-kind items. Steer clear of toys, electronics and kitchen gadgets, which are often dated and in less than pristine shape. Instead, shop used items such as rare books, vintage designer handbags and picture frames. Thrift shops are ideal if you’re searching for a gift with character. You could slash your gift buying budget in half by browsing thrift stores and consignment shops. Buy a Gift for the Whole Family Save money (and time) by getting a single gift that works for an entire family. Think in terms of games, gadgets and electronics that a whole family or a couple could use. Heavy.com lists some interesting family gifts, such as a candy machine or affordable personalized bracelets. Use a Moving-Saving App Online shoppers often forget smart spending tips when shopping on the internet. Online money saving resources are constantly popping up, as more shoppers turn to the internet to do their holiday shopping. One resource, the Honey app, is a browser extension that automatically scans websites for coupons and then adds them to a customer’s shopping cart. PriceBlink is more comprehensive and will find lower prices in addition to finding coupons. There are tons more; a simple Google search will turn up many other money-saving apps for both desktop and mobile shopping. BuyBlack.io is another shopping browser extension. It won’t save you money, but it will suggest black-owned businesses as you browse various stores online. Try DIY Decorations There’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars on decorations. Not when Pinterest has over 1,000 cheap and doable holiday decoration ideas. For many of the do-it-yourself projects listed, you can buy the supplies from a dollar or discount store. Once you see how people are transforming their homes during the holidays for just a few bucks, you’ll never be tempted to buy brand new decorations from major retail stores. ]]>

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