With Christmas rapidly approaching it is very easy to lose control of your finances. I have developed 7 easy tips that I know will help you not break the bank and make your Holiday special.

1. Have a plan/ Make a list

It is important to have a plan and stick to it. Make a list of who all you have to buy gifts for and set a budget for each person. Remember Christmas is not the time to go broke. Some people even go as far as to make a list of want, need, and something to read as suggestions for each person’s gift. Create your list to your liking.

 

2. Coupons

Coupons are your best friends, be sure to check the newspaper for coupons on your favorite department stores.  A good tip is to see if stores offer a percentage off of your purchase if you sign up for notifications through text and or email. Also, check apps like RetailMeNot.

 

3. Give family gifts instead of individual gifts

I personally do not do this tip, but I have heard of it being successful for others. If there is a family of 4 or more, give a gift that everyone can enjoy. Examples include, board games, and gift baskets. For the gift basket you can include a movie, snacks, candles, etc.

 

4. Use cash back or gift card rewards

If you have credit cards, take advantage of your cash back offers and gift card rewards. With certain credit cards, they give you the option to either cash out your cash back so that way you can use the cash to buy whatever gift you want. Others give you the opportunity to transfer your cash back to a gift card and you can give the gift card as a gift itself.

 

5. Avoid sales schemes

I work in sales so I am aware of the sales tactics. Don’t fall for the line of “you are saving $50” well that may be true but if the item is $300 and you are saving $50, you still just spent $250 . Go into a store with your list and plan, and don’t give in to spending more money than planned.

 

6. Shop online

A lot of stores offer better inventory online than in store. For example, I work in jewelry and we have a lot of great items for around $25 that we don’t offer in store. Do your research and compare prices. It may take work, but it’s worth it.

 

7. Start early

If you haven’t started your shopping like yesterday, you need to start now. A lot of stores already have early Black Friday deals and will continue them through Christmas. I also recommend saving 10% of your check to set aside just for Christmas shopping so you won’t have to go into your savings.

 

However you decide to go about your Christmas shopping, be smart and don’t over spend. Also, remember Jesus is the reason for the season.

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