Expert tricks to stretch your holiday cash!
“Often the most meaningful gifts cost no money at all,” says savings expert Anna Newell Jones. Whatever you do well— bake, garden, sew— create a unique gift certificate: cupcakes in the giftee’s favorite flavor, etc. Just be sure to follow up because your
With the average family planning to spend almost $600 on gifts this Christmas, we asked the savings pros how to cut costs without skimping on the spirit of the season!
Save more! Start with a strategy!
One way to boost your budgetfriendly joy? “Hold a family meeting to create your ‘ Top Five Holiday Values,’ “says finance expert Mary Hunt. “They may be enjoying an old- fashioned Christmas, exchanging only handmade gifts, and so on. If, for instance, one of your values is ‘ Spend more holiday time as a family,’ ask, ‘How will we do that?’ If you decide everyone will take one day to do nothing but sleep in, put together a jigsaw puzzle and bake cookies, then mark it on the calendar. Or if one of your values is ‘Christmas is a time to exchange gifts,’ decide specifically who, what, when and how much— a little planning lets you set goals and stay on budget!”
Triple your savings!
“First, let the Flipp app [Flipp. com] automatically go through all the store fliers to find the best deals,” says savings expert Lauren Greutman. Then buy discounted gift cards at Giftcardgranny.com. Third: Shop via a cash-back site like Swagbucks.com. For every dollar you spend, you’ll get three swag bucks; spend $100 and you can redeem 300 swag bucks for Amazon gift cards!
Boost your budget!
“One thing I’m known for is selling ordinary things around my house to help pay for Christmas,” says Greutman. “I’ve sold everything from my old coffeemaker to books to furniture. Just head to ebay or download an app like Offerup.com or Decluttr.com. Or, if you have a lot of kids’ toys, try Swap.com. They send you a free box that you can fill up with toys, and they’ll pay you $20.” Another smart holiday side hustle? “I’ve found a lot of name-brand clothing at thrift stores and flipped them at ebay. For example, I just sold a Prada jumpsuit I bought for $ 6 for $200 on ebay!”
2 Be creative! Give your gifts! Turn church into a “store”!
Saving more this Christmas can be as much fun as staging a “children’s flea market” at your church, promises Hunt. “Ask members of your congregation to consider donating some of their like-new, unopened or unused toys to the flea market,” she encourages. “Collect the toys, arrange them on tables by age-group or category, and hold a flea market in time for the Christmas rush. It’s a win-win situation for everyone: Kids learn to give; parents get to declutter the house; anyone looking for a deal gets a great bargain — and the church gets help raising funds!”
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