Start Saving Now! Brilliant Ways To Boost Your Holiday Shopping Fund

The holidays are coming, and this means one thing. It’s time to start shopping for those all-important gifts. There’s no doubt that for most, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. But it’s also the most expensive. If you’re keen to boost your holiday shopping fund this year, here are some brilliant ideas.

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Generating extra income in the run-up to Christmas
Work overtime
Most of us could do with a bit of extra cash when it comes to Christmas time. If you have a job, it may be worth enquiring about overtime. You could offer extra help over the weekends, for example, or increase the number of shifts you work. If you don’t work, or you’re already working full-time, consider these options. If you work part-time, you could also consider taking on a seasonal job, for example, working at a gift store on a Saturday. In some lines of work, it may also be possible to increase earnings by working antisocial hours. If you’re a nurse, for example, you may earn more by working night shifts.

Have a clear out
Have you ever thought about how much all your possessions are worth? Has it been a while since you had a good old-fashioned clear out? Are your wardrobes full of clothes you never wear? Have you got ornaments collecting dust on the shelves? If so, why not devote a weekend to going through your closet and having a stock check in the attic? You may be surprised at what you find. Make separate piles for things you want to keep and those you no longer want. If you have items in a saleable condition, put them to one side. If you don’t think things will sell, you could always donate them to a thrift shop.
Once you’ve got a pile of items for sale, there are various options open to you. You could sell them on an online auction site or investigate buy-back websites. Using the Internet, you can send off your books, electrical items or DVDs in exchange for money. If this sounds appealing, you’ll find information about sites like BuyBack Express detailed online.
You may also wish to consider hosting a yard sale at home. Individually, your items may not be worth much. But you might be surprised at how much you take in an afternoon.

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Rent out spare rooms or parking spaces
Do you have a spare room you never use? Have you got ample parking close to the city center? If so, you could maximize your earnings by renting out the space you have available. Even a short-term let could make a massive difference to your bank balance. If you’re not keen to share your home with a stranger, ask around to see if friends or colleagues need a room. If you have additional parking available, do some research to see if there’s demand for spaces in your local area. If you live close to town, you may find that commuters are desperate for a good deal.

Making savings at home
One way to boost your holiday fund is to make savings at home. By doing things differently, you can often increase your disposable income significantly. Here are some examples of how you can save money in the months before Christmas.

Switch providers
Many of us have dealings with several companies. We have cell phone contracts, TV and broadband bundles, and insurance policies. Add gas and electricity into the mix, and you’ve got plenty of areas where you could save. Switching providers could save you a huge amount of money, and it’s easier to do that ever before. You can use the Internet to shop around for the best deals and take advantage of incentives that are designed to lure in new clients. If you’ve been with the same companies for years, take a couple of minutes to research other options.

Change your credit card
Are you paying interest on your credit card every month? If so, why not look into making a balance transfer? Often, banks will offer an interest-free period for those switching from one card to another. This means you can save on interest payments, and avoid additional fees for purchases you make in the coming months. Before you switch, make sure you check the terms and conditions carefully.

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Image from Flickr

Cut those energy bills
When it gets to fall, most of us increase our energy usage. Before we know it, our bills have doubled, and the holiday fund is depleted. Most of us could save money on energy bills by making our homes more efficient, and being less wasteful. Do you leave the lights on or the taps running? If so, turning them off will make a world of difference. If your home is cold, there may be simply things you can do to improve heat retention. You can buy sealant, for example, for windows and doors for a few dollars from the hardware store. You could also replace old bulbs and electrical appliances with energy-efficient versions.

Make savings on grocery shopping
If you add up how much you spend on groceries in a month, you may be shocked. Thankfully, there are ways of eating well for less. Planning ahead is always better than doing a spontaneous shop, especially if you go to the store when you’re hungry. Write a list for a menu for the week ahead, and stick to it. Look out for offers, and make use of coupons and vouchers. Try and avoid buying more than you need. If you do buy too much, try batch cooking. This involves making large volumes of food and then freezing portions for later in the week. This is a great idea if you’re busy and you find it hard to fit in cooking after work. Ideal recipes for batch cooking include chili, cottage pie, and casseroles. You can also save money by shopping online. When you add foods to your virtual basket, you get a running total on your screen. This makes you more aware of what you’re spending. There’s also no temptation to stock up on things you don’t need because they catch your eye on the shelves.

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Image credit Flickr

Budget, budget, budget
If you don’t already budget, now is a perfect time to start. Budgeting enables you to keep tabs on your spending, and it gives you an idea of how much you have available each month. Once you have a figure in mind, you can work out what you need to buy, and what else you can afford. When you’re buying presents, it pays to spread the cost. This way, you can cover everyone without bankrupting yourself in December and January.

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Image via Pixabay

Savvy shopping tips: how to get great gifts for less
We all want to spoil our friends and family at Christmas. Sadly, buying amazing gifts often comes at a price. Thankfully, there are some ways you can save on shopping and still get fantastic presents.

Online shopping is a revelation for those looking to save money and enjoy hassle-free browsing. Gone are the days of wrestling your way through crowds and waiting hours to pay. Now, you can order gifts online in an instant with absolutely no stress involved. As well as being convenient, online shopping can also work out a lot cheaper. Do you have a specific gift in mind? For example, a toy your nephew is desperate for or a coffee maker your mom has been hinting about for months? If so, you can use the Internet to find the best price. All you need to do is enter the name or product code, and you can compare offers from different retailers.

As Christmas approaches, you’ll often find that shops and stores host shopping events. If you sign up to mailing lists, you’ll get details sent to you via email. You may find that you get a 20% off code or a voucher for your next purchase, for example. Keep your eyes out for promotions like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

When you’re shopping for gifts, take advantage of offers like 3 for 2. If you have lots of sisters or cousins, for example, you can buy a bundle of gifts, and this will save you money. If you’re ordering online, try and buy presents together to reduce shipping costs.

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Image courtesy of Flickr

The holidays are coming, and most of us are looking forward to buying gifts and celebrating with loved ones. Christmas is fantastic, but it’s also pricey. If you’re eager to add to your shopping fund before the holidays, now is the time to make some changes. You can make savings at home, and also take advantage of savvy shopping tricks. Think about taking on extra work for the next few weeks or have a clear out and sell some stuff you don’t want. Shop around for the best prices on TV and cell phone contracts, credit cards, and consider changing provider. Make sure you get the best deals on items you want for friends and family by comparing prices online. If you take these tips on board, you’ll have extra money for shopping before you know it. You may even have a little left over to treat yourself!

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