How To Sell Santa’s Slip-Ups

Shoppers spent more than $15.5 billion this Christmas on gifts on the Internet alone. Just imagine how many millions went to unwanted polka dot sweaters, electric nose hair clippers, and thigh masters. That wasted cash piled up under the Christmas tree. We’ve all had it happen to us. In fact, you had it happen to you this year. You unwrapped the pretty red bow and tore through the shiny paper on that present from your Uncle Mortie, and immediately, you had to put on your best poker face. How did you know I needed a sushi roller kit?” you exclaimed with as much excitement as you could muster through gritted teeth. The problem is you don’t eat fish sticks, let …

How to Save Money with Great Gift Ideas

Want to save $1000 this year for very little effort? Gift giving is an area where impulse buying is a frequent occurrence. I was amazed to discover I was spending over $1500 or more per year for gifts. What have you spent for gifts in the last 12 months? In my experience, gifts were last minute purchases for which money was no object. I now spend less than $500 per year for gifts. Take two hours of your life and save yourself $1000 or more per year on gift giving. Get Prepared Label 12 manila folders January – December. On the front of each monthly folder, write the days of the month. Next to the appropriate date on the folder, …

12 Steps for a Stress-Free Holiday

Do you feel like Clark W. Griswold trying to make a perfect holiday and stumbling through mishaps? Everyone faces challenges of juggling their time effectively during the hectic holiday season. We all have to carry on our normal activities plus shop, wrap, cook, clean, bake, decorate, travel, etc. Here are 12 ways to manage your time so you can feel relaxed, happy, and joyous during the holiday season. 1. Practice good self-care: Eat right and get enough rest. Do something special for yourself every day, even if you only have 10 minutes to spare. Do what makes you feel relaxed; take a walk, listen to your favorite music, have a massage, stretch. Periodically stretch and take a few deep breaths. …

How to Plan Outdoor Holiday Decorating for Your Home and Stay Within Your Budget

When I was a little girl, I remember my dad taking us for drives at night throughout our neighborhood to see the houses decorated for Christmas. There were some that had a simple wreath on the front door and some that looked like Santa’s Workshop on the front lawn. I was always amazed at the beautiful lights, glistening snow, and holiday music. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized those beautiful displays took a lot more organizing, planning and money than I thought. Whether you live in a cold or warm climate, you don’t have to break the bank in order to create a cozy and beautiful outdoor holiday display for your home. Here’s how. Create a …

How to Have a Stress Free Holiday

Increase the memories and satisfaction and decrease the stress with these ideas! As the holiday season approaches, my well-organized, super achiever friends have already put into motion the plans for their annual, holiday extravaganza. All year long, they have purchased gifts at bargain prices. Their favorite family photo is duplicated onto 1000, addressed greeting cards. They can’t wait to flip the switch illuminating their house which is permanently wired with twinkle lights and they have a file of menus carefully clipped from last year’s Thanksgiving edition of Oprah magazine. Sometimes I am envious of this achievement, sometimes I hate them for it (not really) and sometimes I even get caught up competing with them. The real freedom comes when I …

How to Avoid the Post-Holiday Financial Blues

Are you financially prepared for the Holiday Shopping Season? Will you be making your purchases with cash or credit? Do you have a planned amount of money you will be spending on gifts? If you owe $5,000 of more on your credit card or know someone who does, who only pays the minimum payment each month, you are not alone. The levels of consumer debt are increasing rapidly around the world. A Debt is Not Just for Christmas Christmas is the time of year when many consumers fall into the trap of spending too much money on expensive Christmas gifts. Most of these purchases are made on credit cards rather than using cash. This means these consumers often end up …

How To Avoid Christmas Debt Overload

The Christmas season is truly the season of giving. There is no other time of the year when people’s hearts are as open or their hands are as freely generous as they are during the Christmas holiday. I mean, even our favorite Christmas motto states, “It is better to give than to receive.” While giving does fill your heart with joy and help those who are less fortunate than us, many have taken this motto to extremes when it comes to buying Christmas presents for their children, spouses and other family members. It is not uncommon for families to run up tremendous high-interest credit card debt to buy their children elaborate and expensive gifts such as computers, stereos and designer …

8 Tips to an Easy Holiday Shopping Experience

The holidays can be one of the most exciting times of year and at the same time, one of the most stressful. To avoid unnecessary stress you can take a few simple steps to ease through the season with joy, ease and fun. 1. If you are going to shop – pace yourself. You don’t have to get everything done in one trip. Set aside a short period of time over several days rather than trying to accomplish everything in one trip. For some people, this type of shopping is favorable to doing everything in one trip. 2. There are some personality types who find it less stressful to get all their shopping done in one shopping spree. They do …

6 Perfect Christmas Gift Ideas For Her

How can you shop for a woman who already owns everything she wants? It’s not as difficult as you may think because there’s always a unique approach at buying for the woman who seemingly has a closet full of clothes or a box full of jewelry. Besides, there’s always room for one more outfit or piece of jewelry. Gift Idea For Her #1: Diamonds Diamonds are timeless and always in style. The most commonly found are white diamonds, but what about a blue, cognac or black diamond? These are becoming more readily available and are quite stunning. They are certainly not something that you see at the local jewelry store without seeing a huge price tag to match. If you’re …

6 Great Online Christmas Shopping Tips

Christmas shopping is no longer confined to the local mall or an annual catalog that happens to find it‘s way into your mailbox. Thanks to advanced technology, there is literally a whole world of shopping at your fingertips. The internet has revolutionized the way people shop and, besides, what better way to do your Christmas shopping than from the comfort of your own home. No longer must we suit up and weather the harsh winter days in the hopes of checking a few names off of our Christmas list. The store aisles, as we know them, are crowded and hectic. But now, many store aisles are becoming virtual, a shopping cart is something you fill with images of a product …

6 Family Christmas Vacation Tips You Must Know

A family Christmas vacation can be a wonderful experience. It can fill you with wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. Christmas is a magical time to be surrounded by loved ones, friends and the spirit of the holidays. It’s also one of the busiest traveling times of the year. But, not to worry – there are still plenty of ways to enjoy a family Christmas vacation. A few tips will make your trip a breeze. Christmas Vacation Tip #1: Play Santa If you’re planning a Christmas vacation, be sure to wrap your gifts early if you are taking them for the trip. Always pack each gift carefully, especially if they are fragile, to avoid breakage or other damage. If …

6 Christmas Shopping Tips You Must Know

There are a variety of opportunities for holiday shoppers, including stores, catalogs and the internet. Below are 6 Christmas Shopping tips that should: Christmas Shopping Tip #1: Shop Early If you’re heading out to the mall this year, have your shopping list ready. It’s a good idea to shop early in the season because, if you wait too long, that perfect gift may already be under someone else’s tree. Christmas Shopping Tip #2: Be Polite Always remember to be polite. The holidays are extremely busy and store employees are working overtime, so be patient as you wait for assistance. Christmas Shopping Tip #3: Layaway If you have a big list, but not quite a budget to match, consider a layaway. …

Wishing Big For The Holiday Season

I am going to have to write to the big-wigs at Sears. Or call them. What’s the idea, anyway? What kind of a message is that to send during the holiday season? Wish big? But that’s exactly what the Sears television commercials are suggesting — wish big. Then again, why not? People in this country are already living beyond their incomes and are charging all of those lovely ‘extras’ to their credit cards. So why not wish big at Christmas time? By all means, spend your available cash on necessities like food, shelter and clothing. And then put that expensive piece of jewelry — or a large-screen television — or a computer complete with a $4,000 color laser printer — …

Managing Holiday Stress

Holidays are the time of year to seduce the senses and bolster the bonds between family and friends. But even the hardiest of revelers can succumb to holiday stress. Fret not, you weary holiday warriors. Below are tips for managing holiday stress. These holiday stress tips include ways to stay organized, ways to volunteer your time, decorate, shop, cook, and even write cards – all the while making your health and happiness top priorities. Time Management Tips to Minimize Stress: Stress and depression often go hand in hand. It is estimated that 10 percent of the population experiences depression triggered by stress. You can minimize these unwanted effects by controlling time spent on holiday chores. -Set limits. Don’t try to …

15 Ways to Create Some Extra Holiday Money

Originally this was going to be a list for my two teenagers but some of these ideas are better suited to adults with a valid driver’s license and a bit of know-how. Some of these take a bit of planning and organizing, but most of them could be done on a fairly spur of the moment case by case basis. The great thing about a lot of these ideas is that you’re spreading holiday cheer by helping to make someone else’s otherwise stressful and overwhelming to-do list a little bit easier. Who wouldn’t pay to have someone come do a few of these things for you? Mostly, what’s important is that you remember to provide a quality item or service …