In the current economic times, which is still pretty low, people need to be thinking about Christmas and how they are going to pay for it. I’m sure some families will have to get a payday advance and that still might not be enough. Other families may just decide not to get any presents but there are things you can do to make sure that you have money for the holidays. You can get cheap presents with just a little more effort.
I look around me and realize how lucky my family and I are but even we still have to plan for Christmas. We have a budget and we only spend what is in our budget every month. That includes heating costs, clothing, groceries and extras. We even put aside a little money every month into our savings account. Here are a few tricks that I recommend for everyone.
Pay your bills on time, I know it can be difficult for some families but if you organize your bills and everything you are spending money on. I mean everything, keep a journal. All the fees and credit problems that are associated with paying something late are making you pay so much more than you need to.
Turn off recurring bills. If things really are tight consider cutting certain bills out. I know most people don’t want to sacrifice cable, but my family is. We don’t use cable so we don’t pay for it. Many families including my parents are cutting their land lines. I mean who wants a home phone that is just solicitors anyway?
Use Coupons, if you have been reading Mom Start Saving regularly then you know that there are a ton of sites out there that have on-line coupon codes. All you need to do is find them and use them. Even toy companies are printing coupons. Just this week in the Smart Source there were two different coupons for Playskool toys. One of them was for 10.00 off of a Sit and Spin and they are selling at Target for 20.00. That’s getting a toy for half price. Hasbro, Fisher Price, Playskool all have coupons for toys right now, on-line and in print.
Set money aside all year round. There are plenty of ways that you can save money all year round and gain interest on it. You could just put 5.00 away a month, now I know that’s only 60.00 at the end of the year but that could be used for 3 presents if you put a cap of 20.00 on each gift.
Use Credit Card Rewards programs. We use our credit card for every purchase. So we earn points that we can redeem for cash. Even in places like Fred Meyer, I’ll use my credit card, then we are getting Fred Meyer points and credit card points.
Sign up for Points Everywhere. Most stores have points programs now so make sure you find out what they are and how to take advantage of them. You can earn gift cards, coupons, free items. I have earned 40.00 at the Children’s place with their points programs and I get clothes from them off of the dollar rack at their outlet store.
Save your receipts. This is still one I’m trying to work on because I need to get more organized. I always find a rebate after I buy something and I feel like that’s such a waste because I didn’t have the receipt to send in with the rebate form. Also, you’ll be surprised at what you’re going to want to claim on your taxes.
Sell stuff you aren’t using anymore. You can make some quick cash by selling book and DVD’s at half price books. You can also use Half.com Amazon.com Ebay and Craigslist. Ebay is great because sometimes people just get caught up in a bidding war and end up paying more than something is worth.
Re-gift and tell people no. I know it feels like the end of the world when you can’t buy presents. I was there in college and I still felt bad. You can re-gift as long as you follow certain manners in the process. You can always make homemade gifts and those are always loved the most and often kept the longest. You can also always use the word no. I’m sorry, I can’t get you that for Christmas.
If you have an article to add this week please do. This week as a giveaway I have coupons to giveaway.
I have 5.00 off of 50.00 at Sears
I have 10.00 off of Sit and Spin for Playskool
I have 5.00 off another Playskool toy.
I have a 5.00 Free Product Coupon to Sara Lee Bakery item
I have a free bag of already cooked refrigerator Tyson Chicken
Visit Each link from last week’s link up and leave them a comment. Come back here and tell me you did.
You can also add your own link and I recommend that you do because we have another sponsor next week. Please only add links about saving money, coupons or finding free items. You know, anything that is about saving money and in this economy we need all the help we can get. Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS all of those are welcome!
You can Blog about Mom Start Saving and link back. for 10 extra entries.
Here are last weeks links:
- Sunday Morning Coupons
- Frugal Fashion Tips
- 10.00 off 25.00 at Rain Forest Cafe
- Printable coupon match up Mama Cheaps
- Win a Disney Snow White costume pack. $50 value.
- Snapple Printable Coupon
- Free Pink Cotton Panty at Victorias Secret
Giveaway ends October 26th…leave a comment for every entry