No idea what to get the impossible-to-shop-for person in your life? Why not a gift card?
Christmas revolves around giving and spending. The last thing you want to do is wind up with a large amount of debt once Christmas is over.
Here are five tips for playing the role of Santa, on a budget:
1. Budgeting and planning
A smart budget Santa would usually:
2. Prepaid vs. credit
Credit card usage drags along debt and a high interest rate. A number of financial institutions and credit card companies offer products such as prepaid debit and credit cards. If you’re budget is $250, you can withdraw the money from your account and transfer it over to these prepaid cards.
3. Best deals
Keep your eyes open for the best deals on gifts–you’re going to have to shop around. There are many resources you can use, such as coupon sites, online newspaper classifieds, online auctions, live auctions, business closings, clearance sales, end of season sales, estate sales, your employee discounts, and special events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Keep in mind that what retailers advertise as “best price of the season”, “lower than the national brand” and “half off sale” prices are not always the best prices.
4. Thrift stores
Thrift stores could be a great location for saving a few bucks. These stores offer items that work, are clean and look brand new!
5. Search for gifts all year long!
If you forgot something or someone and are now in a race against the clock on Christmas Eve to buy a gift, the last minute is the worst minute to find great selection with good prices.
Christmas can be a fun time even on your budget. Apart from gifting, Christmas is about spending time with friends and family, enjoying the “Winter Wonderland” and of course watching your children relish their gifts as you play the Santa!
Here are a handful of tips that will help you save money when it comes to your holiday food bill.
Though clipping coupons seem to be more of a hassle (especially during the holiday season), there are a number of benefits that come along with it. Saving money is a priority and clipping coupons is an excellent way to save a good amount of money. As an added advantage, many grocery stores double or even triple the coupon value. A number of companies add special holiday coupons to entice people to purchase their products for Christmas.
Search for online coupons
A number of websites offer a variety of coupons for retailers. Some sites may require sign ups, memberships, and fees to join. There are a lot of databases of coupons available with the best offers that you can print as you need. Online coupons can easily add more savings to your holiday grocery budget.
Search for budget stores
It’s not just ‘what’ you buy but ‘where’ you buy that makes a world of difference when it comes to saving money for groceries. You have to be very selective when purchasing certain items. For example, potatoes are the same wherever you buy them from.
Per piece sales
You can often get real and some of the best bargains by purchasing per piece. Compare fruit and vegetable prices sold per piece and per pound. You can take the advantage by choosing the biggest one on display at the per piece price, particularly when you spot something like a large cabbage or cauliflower.
Buy one get one free, popularly known as BOGOs will be helpful only if you know that two of something is useful to you. Search for offers on items you are looking for right now.
Buy cheap brands
Where quality isn’t affected by generic brands, settle for the cheaper substitute.
Last but not least–shopping with kids and your partner can prove to be hazardous for your wallet as they tend to add things to your cart without considering price.
‘Tis the season for hot chocolate, snow, and of course, spending money on your loved ones!
Even though a lot of brands have great, low prices on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, not everything is at its lowest price on these two shopping days. Here are the best and worst times for buying!
Toys, toys, toys
Toys often hit their lowest price points of the season the closer we get to Christmas, particularly in the middle two weeks of the month. But do not keep your toy shopping for last minute as retailers may begin price gouging the few days before Christmas.
Tools are not for fools!
Winter (specifically November and December) makes for fantastic tools and hardware shopping at the best prices and promotional offers. November had very few deals, but expect more of them in December. Consider gifting your favorite guy a set of tools this Christmas!
Time for holiday cooking
This Christmas, gift your kitchen a new dishwasher or a barbecue pit. You may also want to surprise your husband with something for the kitchen!
Smart shoppers opt for the real savings that come after December 25th. If you want to wait until December 26, you’ll see discounts of 50% to 70% off seasonal goods!
You might want to check out some great deals on desktop replacements (systems measuring 17″ or more) as prices on those systems considerably dropped to 40 percent (compared to November’s lowest price) in December of last year.
This is indeed good news for men and bad news for women. A lot of shoppers don’t see their best discounts of the year during the holiday season, likely because so many of them feel more tempted to buy them in December.
No more electronic deals until 2014
Electronics have you in a corner this month and they are definitely not a good deal! For the best deals, wait until after the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.
Bad time for laptops
December has never been an ideal month for buying a laptop despite its proximity to Black Friday. The past three years measured laptop prices for a 15″ to 16″ dual-core system that soared in price by an average of seven percent in December. So, laptop geeks–it’s best to wait!
If you’re online at all, chances are you’ve seen an ad or two (or several hundred).
Many people have actually made these sometimes-annoying ads into a personal money maker through blogging. People from around the world have turned to personal blogging to generate money from people who want to advertise on their blogs.
Price Waterhouse Coopers in collaboration with Interactive Advertising Bureau of Australia, show the startling revenue Australian websites have been making just from online advertising:
What starts as a hobby or passion can easily turn into a money maker with just a bit of effort. One can start monetizing their blog traffic easily by becoming aligned with pay-per-click vendors such as:
A blog can gather steam, generate leads and create sales by aligning their blog with affiliate links or third part vendors who pay well to have their presence on your blog. When a blog visitor clicks on the affiliate links on your site, you stand to earn commission on the purchases made. Another stable major revenue generator for strong blogs is BuySellAds, an agency that is reinventing ad space on blog pages.
Many businesses need online influencers to sell their services and products, so don’t be shocked if you find vendors lining up to pay you extra bucks for paid posts and sponsored reviews for the welfare and promotion of their products and services to your readers.