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Tips For Trimming Holiday Expenses

By: Lakeland Bank
 
Family with Snowman
We all want to treat our loved ones during the holiday season, but a recent Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll1 revealed that some 13.6 million Americans are still paying for holiday gifts they bought last year, which also tells us that we need to do a better job of living within our means. 

This year, to help trim some of those holiday expenses, we are sharing some of our favorite money saving tips!
 
Set a Budget
Create a list that includes everything you want to buy including gifts, food, decorations, travel, etc. Set an overall budget as well as a dollar limit for each item. Keep your receipts and tally up the totals as you shop to stay on track.
 
Cut Spending
Bring your lunch to work, use reusable water bottles, resist impulse purchases, and consider cutting premium cable services by watching your favorite shows for free online using services like Hulu.com until the holidays are over.  
 
Save at the Supermarket
Make a list and find deals and coupons in your local papers before you shop and use the in-store flyers for last minute savings. Use store brands whenever possible and stock up on sale items in advance.
 
Compare Prices and Shipping Costs
Shop, compare prices, find coupons and review your options at home or online before making a purchase. Save on shipping online by shopping on sites that waive the shipping fee.
 
Find Travel Bargains
Try various online search sites such as Expedia.com and Travelocity.com, review hotel and airline websites or call the properties or carriers directly, and visit your local travel agent to learn about great deals.
 
Give to Charity
Make a donation to a charity in the name of people you would have bought gifts for. This is a great way to give back, spend less and get a tax deduction.
 
Set up a Christmas Club Savings Account for Next Year
A Christmas Club is a short-term savings account and a great way to set aside holiday shopping money to help you avoid the financial strain of the holidays next year. Track what you spend this season to determine how much money you want to deposit on a regular basis and begin in January next year.
 
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1 Consumer Reports, October 28, 2010, http://pressroom.consumerreports.org/pressroom/2010/10/consumer-reports-poll-consumers-plan-to-cut-back-on-holiday-spending-less-so-than-in-recession-years-1.html, “Consumer Reports Poll: Consumers Plan to Cut Back on Holiday Spending Less So Than in ‘Recession’ Years.”
 

 
 
 


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