Primerica

Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

Dec

09.15

Dinners, parties and gifts … oh my! The holiday season is upon us and that means for most, spending will be at an all-time high. While some may have saved throughout the year for this special season of giving, many will break out their credit cards and dig themselves into debt. But it doesn’t have to be that way! You can still make it a holly, jolly Christmas — without going into debt. Here’s how:

 

Folly: Buying whatever strikes your fancy at the time and not keeping track of what you spend or buy.

Jolly: Making a budget and sticking to it. This way, you don’t end up with too much stuff or a lot of filler that doesn’t have meaning.

 

Folly: Buying random gifts and then figuring out who to give them to.

Jolly: Take note from old Saint Nick. Make a list of recipients, gifts and what you want to spend. Then check them off, one by one!

 

Folly: Waiting until the last minute to do your shopping.

Jolly: The early bird not only gets the worm, but gets the best prices, too! Shop around and do your homework so you can take advantage of sales and get more bang for your buck.

 

Folly: Spending too much on entertainment for you and your family.

Jolly: Some of the best experiences in life can’t be bought. Why not host a Christmas movie marathon, go caroling or drive around your neighborhood to see everyone’s decorations? Sometimes the simple things are the sweetest.

 

Folly: Getting too caught up in the buying season.

Jolly: Giving back to those less fortunate. There are tons of ways to give your time or money to those who need help this season. Forgo a few gifts and reallocate that money to charity. Tis the season for giving … back to your community!

 

Folly: Breaking the bank on decorations.

Jolly: Have any holly bushes outside? Cut off a few branches to use in a display or put in a vase. Have pine trees or evergreens in your backyard? Make your own garland with some twine or ribbon! String together popcorn and cranberries or make a paper chain. Thrifty (but beautiful) decorating ideas are endless!

 

Folly: Buying your kids everything on their wish list.

Jolly: Starting a new tradition like “want, need, wear, read.” Buy four presents, one for each category. Not only will it make the gifts more meaningful, it will save a lot of money, too!

 

Don’t get caught up in the hustle and bustle. There are countless ways to save money this holiday season. Make your holiday a jolly occasion and head into 2016 without a bunch of extra debt weighing you down!

15PFS535


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Nov

13.15

10-ways-to-save-this-fall

10 Ways to Save This Fall
Holiday events, gifts and grand meals are just around the corner! Unfortunately for most, that means overindulging and overspending become the norm. It’s fun while it lasts, but who wants to live with that kind of regret? Not you!

There are tons of super fun things you can do, make and see that won’t break the bank. So this season, don’t “fall” into bad habits, “fall” into savings, instead. You’ll be glad you did!

10 Fun (and Easy!) Ways to Save

  1. Cook hearty meals. Fall is all about feeling cozy, so break out those comfort food and soup recipes! You can cook in batches and freeze them for convenience. Plus, cooking in a larger quantity (i.e. for 6-8 instead of 3-4 servings) saves you time, too. Want to up the ante? Use your handy crockpot instead of the oven for energy efficiency savings, too!
  2. Enjoy the great outdoors. It’s not too hot and not too cold. That means it’s the perfect time to get out and explore! Most parks are free, so lace up your sneakers or hiking boots and make exploring nature a family affair. Another way to make it special and save? Pack a picnic and eat al fresco!
  3. Take advantage of special sales. Stores and shopping sites are ramping up for the holiday season. Make a list of what you need to buy and keep a lookout for the best price. Sales aren’t just on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Stores will be having sales weekly (if not daily!) for the rest of the year.
  4. Make some gifts. With so many online resources, it’s easy to find simple, affordable and adorable handmade gift ideas for the ones you love. Get a head start on making gifts now so you don’t feel overwhelmed later.
  5. Adjust your thermostat. Fall is a perfect time to turn off the AC and open a few windows. Also, if it gets chilly, simply light a fire in the fireplace or add a sweater to your outfit. These are easy ways to save money on your heating bill.
  6. Light a fire. Fun is about being together, not fancy outings. Have a fire pit and a backyard? It’s a great time of year to roast marshmallows or hot dogs and make s’mores. Kids love simple luxuries like that and it’s relaxing for adults to sit back and gather around the fire. Plus, you can find affordable fire pits at your local hardware store for as little as $30.
  7. Weatherproof your home. Simple things like weather stripping, adding extra caulk and changing the direction of your fans to push warm air down can cut down on expenses in the winter.
  8. Get out of dodge. Airfares and other modes of transportation are cheaper in the fall and winter months. Treat yourself to a getaway and you could save!
  9. Put your gym membership on hold. The weather is nice outside, so why pay to exercise indoors? Ask your gym if you can suspend your membership for a couple of months and save!
  10. Look for free stuff. Tis the season for all kinds of fun outdoor activities and mini celebrations. Check your local paper and local discount websites to see what’s happening in your area for free (hello, lighting of the Christmas tree!) or for a reduced price.

Remember, you can still have fun this fall and save along the way. Just be creative and look around you. Savings are everywhere!

15PFS528


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Nov

27.12

We asked our Facebook fans to give us their best tip for holiday shopping, and they delivered. Small changes can lead to big savings, and they had great ideas on how to shop smart during the holidays. We compiled some of the best advice to create these five easy steps to becoming a super shopper!

Step 1: Figure out how much money total you can spend on gifts.
Instead of deciding on the amount you’ll spend on each person of your gift list, start by figuring out exactly how much you can spend on all of your gifts. Be realistic about what you can actually afford.

One person suggested saving all of your loose change during the year and adding it to your gift budget at the end of the year. Chances are high that you’ll save more than you’d expect!

Step 2: Make a list of everyone you need to buy a gift for.
Once you know how much you can spend, make a list of everyone you need to buy a gift for this year. Our smart shoppers noted that going into stores without a plan is often what gets people off budget. Having a list in hand while on the hunt for presents can help you focus and stay on target.

Step 3: Budget what you are going to spend for each person.
Go back to your original budget – the total amount you could spend on everyone – and now decide what you’re going to spend on each person on your list.

You don’t have to stick to this exactly, but it helps guide your spending. For example, you might budget $30 for Grandma. If you find the perfect gift for her and it happens to be on sale, then count that as a shopping success! You got her a great gift, and you saved money. You don’t have to spend exactly what you budgeted – just make sure you don’t spend more.

Step 4: Total it all up and make sure you’re within your limit.
Along the way, keep a running total so that you can be sure you’re within your limit. Don’t wait until the last minute! Keep track as you shop so that you can make any necessary adjustments along the way.

Step 5: If you can’t afford it, you shouldn’t be buying it. Get creative and come up with something else!
The most common advice – don’t buy it if you can’t afford it. You don’t want to dig yourself into debt trying to buy gifts for the holidays. It’s truly the thought that counts, and some of the most meaningful gifts won’t cost you anything but time.

For example, want to treat your mom to something nice but don’t have the money? Give her the gift of your time and hard work – write her a note that lets her know that you’ll clean her house from top to bottom.

That’s just one example, but there are numerous ways you can shower someone with love without spending a dime.

What’s your best holiday shopping advice? Share in the comments!


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Dec

07.10

The average U.S. household will spend less on gifts this holiday season than it has for the last quarter of a century, The Globe and Mail reported recently.

The Conference Board said households are expected to spend an average of $384, the worst inflation-adjusted figure in the 25-year history of the survey.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t make this a memorable year for you and your family.

Here are Primerica’s Top 10 Tips for the holiday season:

  1. Review your finances and determine a budget that makes sense for you.
  2. Set your budget, and, most importantly, stick to it.
  3. Re-evaluate your approach this year, and use all possible resources to help make the most of the season – and make it fun.
  4. Write down your gift list, then prioritize it.  Remember, if you and your family are facing financial challenges right now, you are not alone.  Chances are, most of your friends and relatives have their own challenges and might need to make cutbacks themselves.
  5. Make a point to spend time with people around the holidays.  That’s always more important than the exchange of gifts.  The old adage is still true, there are some things money can’t buy.
  6. Manage expectations for your children and other family members.
  7. Shop online, use coupons, look for rebates, watch for sales and compare prices between stores to get the best bargains possible.  This is an opportunity for you to use the retail-slowdown to your advantage.
  8. Whenever possible, pay cash (or use debit cards) for all gifts.  That said, there are some purchases you should make on your credit card.  But always make sure you can pay them off in full when the bill arrives.  Spending money you don’t have on credit cards is the gift that keeps on giving.
  9. Personal gifts that require more of your time and effort, and usually a lot less money, are the ones that mean the most – and the ones your friends and family members will cherish for a lifetime.
  10. Start a new family tradition by volunteering together for a worthwhile cause.  Even if you don’t have money to make a donation, you can give your time – and that can prove to be a much more worthwhile contribution.

Happy holidays from Primerica, where we still help make dreams come true 365 days a year.

Source:  The Globe and Mail, November 28, 2010


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