Primerica

Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

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!

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Oct

23.14

 

fall-into-fun

20 Inexpensive Ways to “Fall” into Fun
The days are getting shorter. The weather is becoming cooler. Leaves are turning and peak holiday season is right around the corner. The fall season is made for family fun—and it can be easy on the wallet, too! Check out these 20 cheap ideas to have fun this fall:

  1.  Visit an apple orchard. It’s apple season and that means it’s a perfect opportunity to get some fresh air and pick some apples! Find an orchard near you, gather a bushel and try out some yummy apple recipes. Caramel apples, anyone?
  2. Frolic in the fall leaves! The leaves are turning (and falling!) so make raking in the leaves a fun event for you and your family by playing in a pile of leaves. Sometimes good old fashioned fun is the best of all!
  3. Have a pumpkin-carving contest. Gather family and friends and get to carving. You can have various categories like spookiest, best design … you name it! Tell your guests to BYOP (bring your own pumpkin!) and all you need are some carving utensils and newspaper.
  4. Get a head start on your Christmas photo. Fall is a perfect backdrop for a cozy Christmas photo opp. Get a friend to take the picture and have fun posing!
  5. Make a Halloween or fall festival costume. Sure, you could pay big bucks at the store, but odds are you have the makings of a costume in your closet already! Check out Pinterest for ideas and stop by the dollar store or Goodwill for the extras.
  6. Go to a pumpkin patch or corn maze. For just a few bucks, you could have a fun family outing. Check your local listings for a pumpkin patch or corn maze near you… and don’t forget about the hayride!
  7. Be thankful. Fall is a time for family and giving thanks. Who do you want to give thanks to? Write a quick letter or make a card to let them know you care.
  8. Play at the park. Whether you’re flying a kite or getting up a game of flag football, fall is the perfect time to have some good — FREE — fun!
  9. Pick pine cones. Create a beautiful and natural display with handpicked pine cones! Spritz some festive essential oils on them or toss in some cinnamon sticks for a wonderful holiday smell.
  10. Show Betty Crocker who’s boss. Tis the season for baked goods! Try out some new recipes and smother your loved ones in home-baked goodness!
  11. Have a cozy movie day. Gather your family, put on your pajamas and make some popcorn! Movie day is a great, inexpensive way to spend quality time together the whole family will enjoy.
  12. Take a hike! It’s the perfect way to get exercise and “ooh and aah” over the changing of the leaves.
  13. Collect or donate food to your local food bank. Part of being grateful for everything you have is giving to those who aren’t as fortunate. Grab a few extra staples at the store or clean out your pantry and offer it to someone in need.
  14. Purge before the holiday surge. The holidays—and gift-giving season—are right around the corner. Now is the optimal time to clean out toy boxes and closets. Take your items to a donation center so that others can use them.
  15. Make a wreath. Add a little something special to your door and adorn it with an inexpensive homemade wreath! Whether you choose fresh foliage from the great outdoors or silk flowers and ribbon from a craft store, there are tons of curated ideas to choose from online!
  16. Get a jump start on homemade holiday gifts. Whether you’re knitting a scarf or decorating ornaments, fall is the best time to get your craft on!
  17. Host a chili cook-off. Nothing says fall like a big bowl of chili! Have your friends over and sample different recipes!
  18. Create a thankful tree. Cut out some tags or pieces of paper. Ask your friends or family to write down what they’re thankful for. Hole-punch one end, tie a loop of ribbon at the end and place it on a tree or plant.
  19. Go on a nature scavenger hunt. Fall is a great time to be outdoors. Up the fun factor even more by creating a nature scavenger hunt!
  20. Have a soup swap. Invite friends and family over for a soup swap. Each person brings 4-6 pints of soup, made from their favorite recipe, with a recipe card attached. Everyone swaps soup and takes it home to their freezer. Not only is this a great way to stock up, but you’ll also have new soup recipes for the ones you really like!

It’s easy to have fun without breaking the bank.
Focus on the things that made your childhood special and pass them on. Create new traditions and memories. No matter how you spend the time, you can definitely Fall into fun this season!

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Dec

12.13

primerica-simple-happy-january

The National Retail Federation estimates that people will spend about $800 each shopping this holiday season!1 Considering the average weekly earnings for Americans is only $771, that’s a huge sacrifice.2

Spending too much on gifts is easy to do without a plan. Try making a list of all of the people you still need to shop for – and be sure to include what you hope to spend on each gift. Experts say that if you fail to set a specific budget, your spending can get out of control.3

Download our free holiday shopping worksheet, and keep tabs on what you’ve planned to buy, what you’ve budgeted – and what you’ve actually spent this holiday season!

Unknown

1 BusinessInsider.com, “5 Holiday Shopping Tips To Stay On Budget,” November 11, 2013
2 bls.gov, “Usual Weekly Earnings Of Wage And Salary Workers Third Quarter 2013,” November 1, 2013
3 Bankrate.com, “Tips for stretching your holiday budget,” viewed December 4, 2013

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Nov

22.13

10-holiday-shopping-strategies

It’s that magical time of year again! Bright lights, holiday music, the biggest shopping days of the year — Black Friday and Cyber Monday (the Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving). That means big spending, frenzied shopping and all kinds of holiday-induced chaos are just around the corner! Want to put the joy back into giving? Follow these 10 simple strategies:

1. Shop off those Thanksgiving calories! Want to shed some of those delicious holiday meal calories? Put on your comfy shoes and head out to the shops! What better way to celebrate your family than by picking out the perfect little something-something?

2. Make a list and check it twice. Have a plan! Make a list of who you’re buying for and what you want to get them. That way you’ll have a clear focus. If you’re headed out to the shops, plan your route so you can save time.

3. Stick to your budget. You might score big-ticket items for a deal, but there will be more deals coming. Don’t grab and go. Stick to your budget. Odds are, the deals will keep coming and what you save in one area can be reallocated if needed.

4. Say it with me: “Technology is my friend.” There are tons of apps that allow you compare prices, scan bar codes and more! Make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck by taking your smartphone shopping with you.

5. Come on, get social! Most retailers post their best deals on Twitter and Facebook. Go ahead and friend the stores you’ll most likely visit and get the scoop on deals early.

6. Beware of doorbusters. You can score some great deals, but know that they’re called doorbusters for a reason: to get you in the door to buy higher priced items. Stay strong!

7. Avoid the crowds and shop online. If you want to avoid the frenzy, shop online. Stores will have deals throughout the holiday season — Cyber Monday — and beyond! Also, there are lots of voucher deals up for grabs daily on sites and apps like Groupon, Living Social and Pricegrabber.

8. Cut coupons. Play the match game. In addition to great deals, many stores will be sending out store coupons in flyers and via email. Clip and save! Some stores will match their competitor’s prices. Save yourself some extra trips and find out who’s playing the match game on the object of your desire before you go.

9. Don’t suffer buyer’s remorse. Retailers are becoming stricter on their return policies. Don’t over-buy and hope to return for full reimbursement later. Some stores will only offer a credit even if you have a receipt. Also, do your recipients a favor and ask for a gift receipt.

10. Just DIY already! Want to cut costs and take a more personal approach to the holiday? Make some of your gifts. Not only are they from the heart, but think of the savings! And, between DIY bloggers and Pinterest, you can find out how to make just about anything on the Web.

Happy gifting!

Sources: money.usnews.com, viewed on November 18, 2013; CNNmoney.com, November 12, 2013; CSmonitor.com, November 7, 2013


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Nov

14.11

The holidays are coming up soon. Take note of these credit red flags – and put your card away at these times.

  1. After midnight. Your judgment may be off at this time of day, so turn off the computer, put your card away and wait till morning.
  2. When you’re near your credit limit. Credit counselors advise staying away from even a couple of hundred dollars of your credit limit to avoid any negative impact on your credit score.
  3. When you get a notice that your rate will go up. You may be able to negotiate with your credit card company for the old rate, switch to a new company with a lower rate or avoid using credit altogether.
  4. You’re paying one card with another, habitually. If you’re bouncing your balance around from one card to the next, you should be aware that moving it around every six months or so may show up on your credit report. Also note that transfer fees have gone up to about 4% of your debt.
  5. If you don’t have a plan for paying it off. If you’re still charging more than you can pay off each month – and have too much revolving debt – Primerica DebtWatchers can help you create a plan to pay off your debt, and help you stick to it!

Source: Creditcards.com, viewed July 13, 2011


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