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Money Matters Blog

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tips for Holiday Shopping on a Budget

According to the National Retail Federation, the average consumer spent $423 over the “Black Friday” weekend this year, which was followed up by a record 129.2 million people making purchases online on Cyber Monday.

All of that spending can lead to a suddenly tight holiday shopping budget, but here are tips to make it last and to make sure everyone on your list is taken care of. 

Create a list ahead of time: Lists aren’t just for Santa Claus. A simple but detailed list of who you’re buying for, how much you want to spend and what gifts you’re planning to buy will help you stay on track, and resist the urge to overspend.

Come prepared: With so much information at your fingertips on the web, it’s a good idea to research deals at your favorite stores and to shop around before you hit the malls. Have a plan and do your research, and you’ll come out of the stores with spare time, and extra cash, in your pocket.

Save money on the little things: Take advantage of offers such as free giftwrapping and free shipping so that your extra funds can go toward gifts or to local charities. You can also save money by re-using supplies from the previous year such as  gift bags you may have  saved from past year.

Use a prepaid card to avoid overspending: With so many tempting deals, it can be difficult to avoid overspending. That’s why it makes sense to bring debit cards instead of credit cards, or prepaid Visa® cards, which are offered at Community Financial. You don’t want to be stuck paying interest months down the line for impulse purchases.

Consider a Holiday Loan from Community Financial: If you think you’ll need a little extra money this holiday season, consider a Holiday Loan from Community Financial (LINK). The loan offers rates as low as 4.74% APR* and could give you up to a $3,000 credit to use for shopping, entertaining, travel or more.

By following some simple steps, you won’t find yourself in a cash crunch this season, or paying for  the holidays well into 2013.

Sources for this article include:

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