With the holiday season approaching, money is tighter than ever. It is almost inevitable that you are going to spend some money this upcoming season, but below are some ideas on how to spend a little bit less.
1. Shop at discount clothing stores. There are many stores that sell designer clothes at an enormous discount, such as TJ Maxx or Marshall’s. While the discounts are great, make sure you shop with a budget. Just because something is a good deal does not mean you have to have it. Also, check clothes for flaws. Sometimes, they wind up at these stores because they have a defect.
2. Don’t rack up late charges. Pay your bills the day they arrive. Late charges and interest can really add up. If at all possible, shop with cash so you have one less bill to worry about.
3. Don’t be TOO generous. Tis the time for giving. I hate to be a Scrooge, but over-give to your favorite charities. Try donating time instead of money. Be a bell-ringer for a day, volunteer at the soup kitchen, spend a day cleaning cages at the humane society; acts of kindness are just as generous as a $50 bill.
4. Buy previously played video games. Your 12 year old is not going to care if his new Wii game has a shiny plastic wrap on the case. Just remember to check for scratches or ask to test the game at the store prior to purchasing it.
5. Re-caulk all windows and doors. It’s getting colder and the less cool air you let in, the less heat you have to pump out.
6. Sell old, gently worn clothes to consignment shops. Earn some extra cash this holiday season. This trend is booming for baby clothes right now. See the Good Morning America story here: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/moms-sell-trade-swap-baby-clothes-extra-cash/story?id=14405183
7. Borrow a dress for your work Christmas party. There’s no reason to buy a new dress you are only going to wear once. Have all of your similar shaped girlfriends go in on a dress together and share it. Just keep it away from the red wine.
8. Take advantage of grocery stores that double your coupons. If you’re in charge of cooking the holiday feast this year, this could be a lifesaver. Just think how much you could save if you had a coupon for every item on your list.
9. Get your holiday entertainment from the library. Don’t rent “It’s a Wonderful Life” from a store or OnDemand. The library has tons of movies for rent, for free. Also, try renting some Christmas CDs, putting them on your computer or music player and creating your own playlist of holiday music.
10. Wrap your hot water heater in insulation. This should keep in more heat so you can turn it down and save on utilities.
Sometimes events and circumstances happen beyond our control, such as when an insurance company refuses to pay a claim and we suddenly have a huge debt. Or perhaps we suffer an injury or sickness and we lose our job. In many situations no matter how wise we are about cutting costs we may need explore other options including bankruptcy.
Don’t be shy about finding out what your options when facing financial difficulties. Some debt relief lawyers will meet with you without charging you for their time. Find out who they are and take advantage of this gift and help arm yourself with the knowledge to know what your options are and get your life back on track.
You may even be able to sue debt collectors who are violating your rights under state and federal collection laws.
You can always call Rex Anderson who will take the time to listen to your case and advise you of your options without charge at your first consultation. Call Rex at 810 653-3300.
Collaborative Writing by Rex C. Anderson, Esquire and Contributing Research/Writing by Kellye S. Smith