In the U.S. alone, Americans spend almost $700 billion at retail stores during the holiday season.
There’s so much pressure to spend on the holiday season, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can be more intentional with your holiday spending and make your money go further. There are so many ways to save to make things less stressful. You can do this!
Here are ten helpful tips and strategies to use to save money this Christmas season.
Take action now: Before we begin, take action now, and download the FREE Ultimate Financial Planner. Paying off debt and managing your finances can be FUN. Included is a bonus debt thermometer.
1. Get cash back with Ibotta
Ibotta is a free app that gives you cash back for making purchases on things like groceries, clothes, toiletries, and much more.
If you sign up now, you can get $10 in your account by using my link here.
If you’re downloading Ibotta on your phone, the app will ask if you have a referral code. Use my referral code: lwyxxrb and you’ll get $10 for signing up.
Here’s a screenshot of my Ibotta dashboard. So easy to use and it’s actually pretty fun to see what deals there are every time I go shopping.
2. Lower your bills and save money today with Billshark (I saved $290)
Billshark is a MUST for anyone who has a cell phone, cable, internet, or insurance bill and wants to lower their bill.
And trust me, it works because I’ve used it myself on 3 different bills and I’ve saved $290.
Here’s how Billshark works:
- Send copies of your bills to Billshark. (I did this by uploading an online PDF of each bill).
- Billshark negotiates all of the bills you send in.
- You get notified if Billshark was successful. If they are, they take 40% of the savings. Ex. Billshark saved me $290 over the course of 6 months, so I pay them $116. I can do this in a monthly payment plan or all at once.
It’s definitely worth the savings and it was such an easy process.
3. Move your money into a high-yield savings account
Are you still using a bank that is offering a 0.03% savings rate? Yep, that’s what my previous bank offers for savings rates, but Radius Bank is different.
Radius Bank offers a high-interest earning of 1.20%APY. You get benefits like:
- Free ATM’s worldwide
- No monthly service fees
- No minimum balance requirement after $100 to open
- The first order of checks on Radius Bank
Applying only takes 3 minutes. You can start saving with Radius Bank here.
If you have an emergency fund, why let it sit in a bank account offering 0.03%? My emergency fund is sitting in a high yield savings account and making me money every month.
If you’re not sure what your bank accounts savings rate is, contact your bank and ask. It’s worth it.
4. Find ways to make additional cash.
Making or saving an extra $50 can help buy a couple of of gifts or even more than that if you find good deals.
Here are some other articles that can teach you to save more money each month of the year.
- 10 Ways To Cut Your Monthly Expenses – By following the tips in this post, you can save money all year long and have more money by the end of the year for gifts.
- 10 Budget Travel Tips – Find out how to save money every time you travel, especially during the travel season.
- 10 Ways To Save Money At The Grocery Store – Learn how to save money every time you go grocery shopping. Saving $10+ each time you go shopping can add up to over $1000 or more at the end of the year.
5. Take advantage of Pinterest.
Pinterest has thousands of DIY projects to choose from for the holiday season.
All you have to do is type in “DIY” in the search bar, and a bunch of different projects will come up.
Type in “DIY gifts” and you’ll get projects that are geared toward your specific needs. Pinterest is addicting, warning you now. =)
Related: 10 Gifts For The Food Lover
Tip: Are you overwhelmed by finances? Are you sick of managing 6 six money apps? Cinch takes care of everything all in one place. Cinch monitors your credit score, if you have missed payments or unauthorized use, to how much insurance you need, and a lot more.
Filling out surveys to make money is an easy way to make money by simply providing your opinion to questions.
I genuinely enjoy surveys because I love sharing my opinion on things. I’ve always been into taking quizzes and surveys, so naturally, I love this method of making some extra cash.
Here are a few of my favorite surveys:
- Swagbucks ($5 bonus for signing up)
- Opinion Outpost
- Survey Junkie
- MyPoints ($5 bonus after 5 surveys)
- Springboard America
7. Get cash back on online shopping.
Ebates will give you cash back on online shopping you do. Who doesn’t like cash back?
- Shop through Ebates at your favorite stores
- Earn cashback on purchases
- Receive money back
Create an Ebates account here. Make an online purchase of $25 and get $10 as a welcome bonus! So easy.
Ebates even has a free browser extension that automatically applies the best coupons to your purchases and activates cash back. There are so many times I forget to use Ebates when I’m online shopping – so the Ebates button reminds me every time I go online shopping. It’s a must.
8. Make a list and stick to it.
Making a list and various sticking to the list is one of the easiest things a person can do to save money during the holidays.
We often tend to veer off the list and buy more than we need, when that is not necessary at all.
People don’t need more “stuff” to clutter up their homes.
9. Always check online discount apps such as RetailMeNot.com.
Before stopping at the mall or any store, download the RetailMeNot app on your phone and type in the store you are visiting in the search bar.
A few different coupon codes should pop up, giving you different options to save money.
There’s almost always a coupon code for a store, so make it a duty to check the app before entering the story.
So many stores given student discounts, so be sure to ask the store if they give discounts before purchasing anything.
Lots of restaurants give out student discounts, which is awesome for any broke college student (which is most of us, I think!).
Tip: Cushion is an app that refunds bank and credit card fees. You can expect refunds on things like late fees, overdraft fees, monthly service fees, account maintenance fees, ATM fees, credit card interest charges, late fees, and more!
10. Avoid the Buy One Get One Half Off Deal.
So often we think that buying a second item is saving us money.
What it’s doing is making us purchase more “things’ and give more gifts than are necessary.
This deal is only good if you’re honestly going to give the two gifts to 2 separate people.
You might even find a better deal by ditching the BOGO half off deal by going to a discount store and finding an item for 50% off.
Instead of paying full price for clothing, check out ThredUp, an online thrift store with thousands of items, both used and brand new for a fraction of the price!
➡️ What to read next: 30 Ways To Cut Your Spending And Save Thousands Per Year
What are you doing to save money this holiday season?
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