7 Ways to Budget During the Holidays

It’s hard to believe we are already at the start of the holiday season! Just months around the corner, the stress of holiday shopping is already starting to edge up.  Luckily, I’ve found 7 ways that you can budget this holiday season.

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Not only will these tips help you save money, but you might even find yourself earning a little to buy yourself something special.

1. Couponing

Coupons may seem like a trend of the past, but they are certainly making a comeback. You might think using coupons is only a common routine older generations get into, but considering coupons are essentially clipped paper money, they are valuable to any wise person who decides to use them! With how internet savvy our world is, there are several Facebook pages and websites that give you access to the best coupons and deals. A simple search in google can lead you to saving dollars in no time.

2. Loyalty cards

Customer loyalty cards are always nice to have. They are available for many pharmacies, gas stations,retail & grocery stores. Most of them offer free membership to a loyalty program that accumulates points from your purchases and result in big saving rewards. Some of them also offer in store coupons by scanning your card under the coupon center in the store. CVS is a prime example of a loyalty card that offers you in store coupons as well as reward points from purchases. My favorite part about having a CVS loyalty card is the beauty reward coupons ;).

3. Sign up and use the Upromise credit card

This might be the best finance move you make all year long.   I recently signed up for the Upromise® by Sallie Mae® card and I am so happy I did.  It is free to join, and simple to use. It’s also a smart way to earn cash. Yep, that’s right… Earn cash by spending, that’s my kind of thing. 😉  This makes it so easy to shop for the holidays and actually get money back on all of those purchases.

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“This year Upromise is celebrating a major milestone. Since the program began, Upromise members have combined to save over $1 Billion Dollars in cash back for college! Now, with the introduction of the Upromise Mastercard, members have even more ways to earn cash back — to date card members have combined to earn $500 million in cash back!”

  • 5% Cash back: Online shopping, online travel, restaurants
  • 2% Cash back: Department stores, movie theaters
  • 1% Cash back: On all other card purchases

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4. Stock up

It saves money to stock up! When you have the extra money from your Upromise credit card buy extra of the items on sale, stocking up on them is a smart move.  You can even purchase holiday items for the following year.  Seasonal things such as decorations, toys, etc. never go out of style and if you shop the right times you can safe up to 90% on many items.  Trust me, I’ve done it. ; ) The most essential items to stock up on are those which have extended expiration dates.

5. Price matching

Many stores have year round price matching policies which can save you tons of $$$ in the long run especially during the holiday season. Price matching is extremely convenient to have when you can’t or don’t want to travel to a store outside of your region, just to get the best deal.   Or maybe you don’t want to rush the holiday sale that everyone saw advertised.  Just by price matching you can get the same deal at a different store and you won’t have to mess with the crowd.

Most of the time,  all you have to do is bring the physical ad from the competitor store to a price matching store. A few stores that have price matching policies are Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and Kohls. So be sure to check into other store’s prices along with your local stores price match policies before splurging on your next item or fighting the holiday shopping crowd.

6. Question your motives

A logical money saving tip is to question your motives when shopping. The more questions you ask yourself before buying an item, the more or less confident you’ll be before making that purchase. Asking yourself whether you really need that particular item, if you can afford it, and how often you’ll use it will help you decide whether or not you’re making a valuable purchase. So before buying, give yourself a little interrogation to ensure guilt free spending.  When shopping for others this holiday season make sure you make a list and feel organized before you start checking things off.

7. Calculate your costs

Keeping track of how much you’re spending before you spend it, not only convinces you to spend more wisely, but also helps you stick to your budget. In addition to that, it gives you time to put back those high calorie and expensive bakery goods before leaving the store!  Those are tempting all year round, but especially during the holiday season.

Follow my lead and apply these tips to your  holiday shopping. Make sure to sign up for the Upromise card before you begin your holiday shopping and take full advantage of making money by spending it!

Other Upromise MasterCard Benefits include:

  • $25 Cash Back Bonus after first eligible use of the card within 90 days
  • No limit to the total cash back you can earn on eligible purchases
  • $0 fraud liability on unauthorized transactions
  • No rotating reward categories
  • A chip card makes paying for your purchases more secure at chip card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
  • Complimentary FICO® Credit Score

With all the extra money you will be saving, you’ll be able to by yourself something extra special this holiday season!

Disclosure: Thank you to Upromise for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

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Sarah Ruhlman is the founder and editor of Sarah Scoop.com. Sarah is a lifestyle blogger, online influencer and television personality. Email sarah@sarahscoop.com to connect and work together.
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