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Get the Most for Your Holiday Dollars

(November 2013)
Taking a moment to budget and plan for holiday expenses can reduce the stress of shopping and help you and your gift recipients get the most for your money.

Don’t get caught up in the buying frenzy!

Don’t get caught up in Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other holiday deals. Instead, create a budget and stick to it. Tracking how much money you’ve spent – not how much money you’ve “saved,” is ultimately the best way to save.

Choose Gift Cards Wisely

Choose gift cards wisely to avoid wasting dollars on unused cards. Keep in mind that 40% of recipients do not use the total card value, which added up to more than $41 billion in gift card balances going unused between 2005 and 2011. Consider buying cards that can be used at many retailers such as Visa gift cards, or buy cards from stores the recipient uses often, not your favorite retail chain.

Extended Warranties

When you’re gift shopping should you buy extended warranties offered by retailers? If the cost of the item maxes out your budget forget the warranty. If you’re buying an expensive item for a family member research the warranty online and make a decision before you face pressure from a sales person. If the recipient can purchase a warranty on their own ask what paperwork you need to provide.

Check for Promotion Codes

Before you complete your online purchases take a moment to search for promotion codes from the retailer. Promotion codes offer discounts, free shipping, even free gifts with eligible purchases.