The holidays can be a rough time for finances. Even the most frugal among us can fall off the wagon and embark on a Christmas spending spree. Yet there are crafty ways to have it all; you can cover everyone on your holiday list without breaking the bank.
To help folks get a better handle on their holiday spending, MoneyTips hosted a live discussion on December 4th with financial experts Patrice Washington and Heidi Thompson. In this first ever Finance Friday Blab, we discussed all manner of holiday savings tips. Check out the full replay to hear all the sage advice here:
Patrice Washington is the host and owner of realmoneyanswers.com, the finance expert to The Steve Harvey Show, and best-selling author of the Real Money Answers books series.
Heidi Thompson is the financial strategist and online expert for moneycrashers.com, a website that covers a myriad of finance-focused topics.
Here are some core highlights of the live broadcast:
Question #1: What Should People Do to Understand How Much They Have to Spend on Gifts?
Patrice asserted, “Chill out, remember what the season is about, and don’t stress yourself out trying to buy gifts for kids who honestly want your attention more than anything else.”
Heidi stated that the biggest problem she sees is that people don’t include holiday shopping into their budgets. She advised to make a list of individuals with a set limit per person, and to not allow yourself to deviate.
Question #2: Where Should People Look to Get the Best Deals?
Patrice noted that, “If you are going to shop, don’t buy anything until at least you’ve done some due diligence.” Before purchasing, research items online to ensure you are getting the best deal, and if you did buy the item and find it somewhere else cheaper, don’t be afraid to return it; just hang on to your receipts.
Host Justin Simon then asked Heidi about the best ways to save money online.
Heidi stated, “Ebates is fantastic.” If you install the plugin, it will show you how and when you can earn money back on purchases. Alternatively, the Honey application provides a similar service, but for discount codes. “There are almost always discount codes available.” If Honey is installed on your phone or tablet, it can help you instantly find a usable and valid code.
Question #3: What Lessons Can You Tie into Christmas Shopping to Teach Kids About Money?
Patrice proclaimed, “We can teach kids to prioritize. I think one of the reasons a lot of us have challenges with our finances is we have a hard time discerning what a need is versus a want.”
Heidi agreed and shared that empowering kids to make their own decisions about the things they want can be very impactful.