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Holidays

How To Christmas Shop For Free

free Amazon gift cards

On Monday, we talked about reasons people spend too much over the holidays. I’ve been there, done that, and I’m never going back again. Today, I’ll share some strategies that will allow you to Christmas shop for reduced cost or even free. You actually don’t have to apply this strategy to Christmas shopping. You could use it  to pay off debt, take a trip,make a big purchase, or whatever you want. If you are looking for a way to bankroll Christmas this season, it won’t work, but if you start now, by next year, you could seriously have a zero bill for holiday gifts. Use Shopping Portals I tend to do most of my shopping on Amazon because it’s easy, and I love the two day free shipping on Amazon Prime. However, sometimes there are better deals by going through shopping portals. You can use a site like cashbackholic to see where the best cash back deal is at the moment. My current favorite is Ebates. For example, I needed a new wallet a couple of months ago. I hate buying wallets, but I lost two credit cards because my current one wouldn’t stay closed. It was time. I found a perfect ...

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5 Reasons Why People Spend Too Much Over The Holidays

Don't overspend at Christmas

It’s almost Thanksgiving and after that, only a few short weeks until Christmas. Stores are gearing up for the mad rush we call holiday shopping, hoping the last 6 weeks of the year will keep them in the black. My big wish for everyone this holiday season is to keep your own budget in the black. How many of you have started a new year with less money or more bills that you planned? Here are 5 reasons why I think people spend too much money over the holidays and how you can avoid the traps retailers use to get more of your hard earned money. 1) Credit This was always our Achilles Heel at Christmas or really anytime we went shopping. If we didn’t have the money, it didn’t matter. It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment, swipe the card, and not think about it until the bill comes next month. To avoid overspending, set a limit for gifts and once you’ve hit the limit, stop. If you can’t be trusted with credit cards, shop with cash or purchase gift cards in the amount you can afford. Once the money is gone, it’s impossible to overspend. ...

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Cool, Cheap Christmas Gifts for Teachers and Such

affordable gifts for teachers and office colleaagues

The older I get, the less I like gifts. I’m to a point where if there is something I want and value, I’ll budget for it and buy it myself. I hate getting or giving things out of obligation, but there are times when you have people in your life that require a holiday gift. Teachers are saints, and I will always send some sort of gift for the people who spend 7 hours a day educating my daughter. There are also neighbors, work colleagues, and family members who might not rank high on the gift list, but  you’d feel crappy if they got you something and you had nothing for them. Here are some cool, cheap gifts that work great for teachers and such. Start Early I really don’t enjoy thinking about Christmas until after Thanksgiving, but it’s smart to start planning now. Make a list of who you need to buy for and how much you want to spend. That way, if you see a deal, you can jump on it instead of waiting until the last minute. I am determined to get all my shopping done this year before Thanksgiving so I won’t be tempted to go ...

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Father’s Day Gifts For The Hard To Shop For Dad

Giving pictures for Father's Day

Father’s Day is right around the corner, and I’ve already been thinking about what to get my Dad for a while now. You see, my father is one of those people who is incredibly hard to buy a gift for. Basically, all he does is work. He has few hobbies. He isn’t into DIY. He doesn’t go to movies. He has way too many clothes already. He doesn’t shop or go out very much. Regardless, I am always determined to find a gift that he will like and use. What’s a girl to do when you need a Father’s Day present for a Dad who doesn’t need gifts? Cook Him a Meal or Take Him Out to Dinner One thing my Dad does love is eating his favorite foods. If I lived anywhere close, I’d make him a steak and baked potato dinner, even if that’s not on my low cholesterol plan! For a few years, I thought I was very smart because I sent him gift cards to restaurants that he sort of likes. I guess he goes out less than I thought because I found the whole stack of unused gift cards in my parent’s kitchen drawer. Honestly, ...

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Memorial Day Traditions

happy memorial day

Happy Memorial Day to my US readers. Happy Monday to everyone else. It’s funny how Memorial Day means different things to different people. I think we all agree that this holiday was meant as a remembrance of those who have given their lives to defend our country, but in the South where I grew up, Memorial Day was a time when you also visit the cemetery to put new flowers and trinkets by the tombstones of loved ones who have passed on. Memorial Day traditions are very different in different places. I used to love Memorial Day as a kid because cemeteries are great places to explore and learn history. It wasn’t really a sad time at all. I can remember catching caterpillars and putting them in a jar. I’m not sure why graveyards are prime places for them, but it was caterpillar central. In Kentucky, your wedding and your death were the two big occasions to plan for. Funerals and all the rituals that go with them are huge and often social events. I can remember getting to the funeral home early to get good seats for some of the more prominent community members. My Mom bought grave plots ...

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