4 Ways to Spend Less This Christmas

Nov 05

4 Ways to Spend Less This Christmas

Every year you vow not to blow your Christmas budget, yet every year you overspend.  Budgeting is like dieting…it’s hard to stick to when there are so many temptaions, and in the retail world the temptations are the SALE signs everywhere!

Follow these 4 simple rules, and I promise you won’t blow your Christmas budget this year.

Pare Down Your List

This doesn’t mean you have to be a Scrooge, it just means you need to organize some sort of name-drawing gift exchange.  Instead of shopping for 20 people, you might only have to shop for 4, and I’m sure your wallet will thank you!  Other gift exchange ideas – only buy gifts for children, set dollar limits or give a family gift.

Plan Ahead

Don’t even think about shopping without a list, and make sure you stay focused and stick to it!  A few more “to-do’s” before you hit the mall…

  • Even if you’re not shopping online, use the internet to compare prices, so you’ll know a good deal when you see it.
  • Preview the Black Friday ads before Thanksgiving by visiting TheBlackFriday.com.
  • Gather coupons and don’t forget to put them in your purse or save them on your smartphone.

Never Pay Full Price

There’s no excuse for paying full price other than laziness.  It takes a little effort, but the savings will pay off.  4 ways to avoid paying full price…

  • Shop with discounted gift cards for instant savings.  Discounted gift cards are available for most retailers, and you can order them from sites like ABCGiftCards.com or CardCash.com.
  • Earn cash back when you shop online.  Imaging getting 4% cash back when you shop at Bath and Body Works or 6% cash back from JC Penny.  If you start all your online Christmas shopping trips at Ebates.com, you’ll receive your big, fat cash back check on February 15th.
  • Shopping online? Don’t leave the coupon code box blank.  Sites like RetailMeNot.com exist to help you find money saving coupon codes, so you really don’t have any excuses.
  • Always buy items on sale…even better, use a discounted gift card on a sale item or earn cash back on a sale purchase.  Combining discounts is the key to huge savings.  Sale + Discounted Gift Card + Coupon = Savings.

Consider Homemade

You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to give amazing homemade gifts.  Get inspired with festive and frugal homemade gift ideas from my Pinterest Board.

Happy Shopping and Happy Saving!

By the way, you can thank me in January when your credit card bill arrives, and you’re under budget.

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Written by:

Kristl Story

TheBudgetDiet.com

(It’s a diet for your wallet, not your waistline!)

Kristl is the CEO of her family and also the maid, the cook, the coupon queen and yes, the bargain shopper.  She’s not a financial planner or an accountant, just a mom that knows how to live the good life on a budget!  Kristl’s tips have been featured in publications like Consumer Reports, All You Magazine and Good Housekeeping as well as Mint.com, MSN Money and KHOU-TV. Discover more frugal living tips at TheBudgetDiet.com