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I am a new vegan and just starting to write a blog about my journey thus far. http://griffinwolf2008.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 9, 2012

The 5 easiest ways to save money this Holiday season

So the holidays are right around the corner, and you wanted to save a few dollars wherever and whenever you possibly can. You can be frantic trying to figure out how to do so, but it’s not as difficult as you may think.

Tip #1 - Make Your Own Decorations.
There are thousands of site out there that have tutorials on how to make your own holiday decorations. There are simple crafts to the most elaborate you can think of.
There are many sites that also show you how to use what you probably already have lying around your home. It can be really simple to spend little to no money, as well as being able to get the kids involved. The joy you share in doing something together can make strong bonding memories and teach them valuable lessons in regards to what the holiday’s mean to your family.

Tip #2 - Make Your Own Gifts.
Whoever said that you had to buy everything? Why not make your own gifts? If you have a bit of a crafty hand, you can make gifts at home and these gifts will mean so much more to people that something you just grabbed off the clearance rack. These gifts can also be passed down from generation to generation, such as scrapbooks, mittens, scarves and baby blankets. You can also bake some cookies or a cake for someone as well. Just use your imagination!

Tip #3 - Plan Ahead With A Holiday Planner.
This is something many people don’t think about, and it tends to get tossed out the window with the birds. Think about what you want to get people in advance and write them out. Do some research to see who has the best deals and when these items go on sale. This also goes for Holiday feasts as well. You will find you won’t be running around like a hamster in a wheel, searching at the last minute to find something for someone you forgot. We all know know how difficult it is to think things out when we are rushed. This is also a great tool year round, not just for the holidays.

Tip #4 - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Use this as an excuse to go through your closet or attic to get rid of stuff. If you find something that is in perfectly good condition, and you think Aunt Martha will enjoy it, then it’s perfectly acceptable to give it to Aunt Martha. It’s a win win situation. Or, if you have some unused kitchen gadgets lying around that are brand new, give it to the family member that is just starting out on their own. It will be greatly appreciated. Is there an old heirloom that you hate but your brother loves? Give it to him. By clearing things out, you may find things you bought for Uncle Joe 5 years ago but lost in the abyss. So may a little “winter cleaning” can be a blessing.

Tip #5 - Budget.
This piece of advice isn’t exactly original and may seem like a cliché, but there is truth in every cliché. Creating a budget and sticking to it can make a world of difference when your bills come rolling in the following month. You need to figure who you are buying for and how much you can spend on each person.
Notice I didn’t say how much you WANT to spend; It’s how much you have to spend. You’ll get in trouble if you follow your wants.. Once you have set your budget, stick to it and don’t veer from it.

Even though the holidays are supposed to be an enjoyable time of year, it can be the most stressful time of year. By following some simple guidelines, it can reduce a lot of stress for anyone. There’s no reason for you to end up in the poor house come January.
Emily Griffin is 23 years old and a recent college graduate from State college of Florida. She is a personal finance writer for Save1.com; the new coupon startup that feeds kids each time a coupon or deal is used. 

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