I’m totally obsessed with the star garland!
There are only three days left until Christmas, which means it’s time for the procrastinators of the world to start shopping. If you’re a procrastinator, and you like to save money, like me, then this post is for you! Christmas doesn’t have to bankrupt you every year, and you can still be frugal if you are looking last minute. Check out these tips by Deanna Michaels at From This Kitchen Table for getting Christmas presents on a budget:
-Make a list of everyone you need to buy for, so there are no last minute surprises
-Have a set gift budget for each person, and take the money out in cash so you don’t overspend
-Use homemade gifts: sew, crochet, bake, cook, and craft your way through the holidays
-Buy used- don’t get junky items, but you can find some great books, toys, clothes, and board games at thrift stores
Every year, millions of Americans flock to stores at the crack of dawn the day after Thanksgiving. They do it in the name of saving tons on expensive Christmas gifts- and let’s face it, there are some pretty good deals out there. However, there are other ways to scoop up those great savings…without cutting your Thanksgiving short or getting trampled. Check out this post by Amy Livingston at Money Crashers for Black Friday alternatives:
-Shop online- many retailers offer discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday
-Shop locally on Small Business Saturday
-Shop earlier or later- often, Black Friday sales are the same discounts that the stores routinely give
-Always be sure to comparison shop and price check beforehand to make sure that you are actually getting bargains!
It’s almost Fall, which according to some department stores, means that it’s time to start getting ready for Christmas. While I personally think it’s still too early to decorate for Christmas (wait your turn! It’s time for Halloween!), it’s not too early to start saving for gifts! I have a big extended family, with 30+ cousins, and we get each of the little ones a present each year. That can really add up! My mom has started buying one or two gifts per paycheck- we’ve gotten about 5 so far. That’s one good way to start buying gifts, rather than spending hundreds of dollars on Christmas Eve. For more tips on saving for the holidays now, check out this post by Lori at Grocery Shop for Free:
-Have a yard sale, and sell all your summer junk. Put the proceeds towards buying gifts!
-Stop eating out- One dinner a week for a family of 4 is about $40-$50. That’s $200 a month in savings!
-Change your insurance policies- if you haven’t looked at what you’re paying for in a few years, take some time to shop around and make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Summer is quickly coming to an end. For me, that means that it’s time to start saving for next year’s vacation! Traveling is something that is important to me, and it is always something I prioritize when planning to save. Next year, I’ll be going on my biggest trip yet. My uncle just moved to Japan, and we’re planning on going to visit him. Naturally, international travel can get quite costly. That’s why I love this post by Kimberly at Stuffed Suitcase. Here are her tips for saving for vacation:
-Driving typically costs less than flying, just be sure to factor in stops and hotel stays.
-Pack your own snacks and find hotels that offer complimentary breakfast
-Sell things you no longer use, put away the difference
-Shop smarter, always look for ways to save money! Cut out non-essentials.
In a few days, I will be going up to Michigan for the first time with my boyfriend (his home state) to meet some of his family and friends. I couldn’t be more excited to finally meet the people that are closest to him, as well as see a part of the world I’ve never been to before. Since it’s about an 11 hour drive, we will most definitely be flying. However, flying can be expensive. It’s taken a pretty big chunk out of my summer budget. It’s worth it, but planning when flying is absolutely necessary. Check out this post by Briana Carter at Totally Travel Tips for ways to save money on airfare:
-Be flexible about travel dates- moving the date by a day or two could have you tons.
-Check other nearby airports, especially smaller ones.
-Book directly through the airline’s website, instead of with a travel agent or travel site.
-Book tickets as far in advance as possible
Last week was my best friend’s birthday, and before her party (going out to Nashville), we spent the day snapping up as many birthday freebies as possible. We scored free icecream from Baskin Robbins, makeup from Sephora, frozen yogurt from Pinkberry, pizza from Sbarro, and of course, free flan from our favorite local Mexican restaurant + a very loud and embarrassing birthday song for her. It was a great day. Be sure to take advantage of freebies on your birthday! Check out this post by Kyle Taylor at The Penny Hoarder for a list of 100+ places to score free birthday swag:
-Free milkshakes from Arby’s
-BD’s Mongolian Grill- free entree
-Chili’s- free chips and guacamole
-Dairy Queen- free blizzards