5 Tricks to Save this Holiday Season

We know your time is precious - so we'll keep it short and sweet. Here's 5 hacks to save $ this holiday season. 

Looking to buy gift cards? Get them online for less.

There are several gift card exchange sites that allow you to either trade in a gift card of your own or buy a gift card at a cheaper price. For example, Cardpool hosts several options for all your gift card needs. When you're buying several gift cards for friends and family, your savings add up quick with even a small percentage off!

Look at how much you spent last year. 

You've probably already started your holiday shopping this year - and that's totally okay. However, it might help to review your expenses from last year and see if there are any recurring expenses that you might not have planned for this year. This will help you to avoid overspending and allow you to plan for those expenses without having to dip into savings or other money accounts. 

Draw names instead of buying for many different people.

If you have a big family or a large group of friends, it's much easier and more cost efficient to have everyone draw a name and buy one person a gift. This saves more money while allowing each person to receive a nice gift! You could set a gift limit - such as $50 - for each person. Spending $50 on one gift versus $10-20 on several gifts not only saves money, but also makes shopping easier and faster! 

Consider keeping track of expenses in an Excel or Google Doc Sheet.

We know, we know. This sounds kind of lame and outdated, but we promise it works. If you start keeping track of how much you've spent in an easily accessible document, you can quickly see if you've spent more than you planned to, or less than you planned to. This can be beneficial in instances where you're considering another holiday purchase, but not sure if it's truly worth the money you would spend. If you can look back and see how much you've spent to date, it will make it much easier to say "yes" or "no" to making that purchase. 

Bonus tip: Don't forget sales tax!

Sales tax doesn't cost much on small purchases, but can make a big difference on larger purchases such as household appliances or electronics. Say you budget $1,000 on Christmas gifts this year, you also have to take into account the almost $100 you'll be spending on taxes alone. We even found a way that Santa can help ya out with this. Santa's Bag is a free app for IOS that allows you to plan your spending for each gift with ease. The app lets you create a budget and further break it down by each person's gifts to help you track your spending - including taxes. You can put in budgets for each person, keep track of gift ideas, gift prices, and more.