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Holiday Spending Tips

accountnow prepaid card holiday spending tipsYou can enjoy the holiday season without breaking the bank with these tips to stretch your holiday dollars a little farther:

Buy holiday decorations after the holidays. For some, half the fun of the holidays is creating your own winter wonderland… or something like it. But, you don’t have to spend a fortune to make your home look as festive as you feel. First, plan ahead. Purchase Christmas ornaments during after-Christmas sales. After the holiday this year, try to picture what you’ll want for your holiday décor next year, and buy a few things with that in mind. This can save a lot of money when decorating for the holidays.

Cost-effective decorating. You might not be into crafting, but consider shopping at places like dollar stores or deep discount retailers for things like silk flowers, holiday dishes, serving pieces, or cards. If you like to hang a wreath out front, consider buying a plain one instead of pre-decorated, and buy some ribbon, dried berries, or whatever you like to adorn it.

Save on food. Many of us look forward to the holidays because of all the scrumptious food we get to make and eat. A big meal with all the trimmings might be just what your family looks forward to throughout the year – and, even if it’s not about the food, having that big, special meal brings with it the promise of family togetherness, laughter, warmth and joy. So, it’s worth it. But, it can be expensive, especially if you’re preparing food for a crowd. Here are a few tips for saving on food this holiday season:

  • Buy in bulk. If there’s a warehouse store like Sam’s Club, Costco or BJ’s nearby, or a food warehouse  open to the public, you can sometimes save a lot on when you buy in bulk. (Be careful, though: sometimes you just buy more! Be especially careful buying perishables.)

 

  • Think ahead for all of your entertaining. If you can prepare casseroles that would be good at any meal, you can make your holiday entertaining a little simpler. As guests come and go during the holidays, you can offer frozen casseroles to heat by the serving so that you’re not constantly shopping and preparing food.

 

  • Plan ahead. Before the holiday season gets fully underway, make a shopping list of basic and special ingredients you’ll need for dinners, desserts or party food.

 

Plan before you shop. A little budgeting goes a long way when it comes to holiday gift-giving. Shopping with a list can help you avoid impulse purchases. Make a list of the people to whom you want to give a gift, the type of gift, and the estimated cost. Be sure that the total you’re planning to spend is within your budget. If not, consider how you can cut back, or perhaps comparison shop to get the best price.

The holidays can be joyous, but they can also be painful for your bank account… and that can cause you pain the rest of the year. So start 2015 right with healthy finances. Use these tips to make sure your holidays don’t set you back!