Christmas http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/38/all en-US How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money Too http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-502527550.jpg" alt="make money from unwanted gifts" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's already 2017, which means it's time to take inventory and clean up. Got a few unwanted or duplicate presents for the holidays? Here are five ways to make money on the gifts you don't want.</p> <h2>Sell Clothing on ThredUp</h2> <p>Need something to do with your &quot;ugly christmas sweater&quot; from the work holiday party, or the pjs that are four sizes too big? If you're saddled with some brand new clothes you don't want, resell them on ThredUp &mdash; a site dedicated to clothing recycling and reuse. Sign up and send a batch of your clothing with their provided kit, and they will send you payment based on what they deem the clothing to be worth. You can even estimate <a href="https://www.thredup.com/p/cleanout-payout-estimator" target="_blank">what you might earn</a>. Soon, you can make some scratch to spend toward that cute unicorn pj onesie you really wanted.</p> <h2>Sell Toys and Games on eBay</h2> <p>Some sites stay the same for a reason. When it comes to toys, games, and other collectibles, you just can't beat eBay. It's where folks looking for a specific item are shopping. If you're stuck with a gigantic Power Rangers toy your kids don't want, or a third copy of <em>Big Bang Theory</em> Monopoly, it's easy to post them with a &quot;Buy It Now&quot; and/or an &quot;Make an Offer&quot; option. eBay even makes it easy to fill out the product form, as half the fields can be auto-filled based on the product. Take a photo and you're good to go.</p> <h2>Sell Books on Amazon Marketplace</h2> <p>Turns out everyone in your life only knows one thing about you, because everyone got you a copy of the newest <em>Peanuts</em> collection. You should definitely push off your other copies at <a href="https://services.amazon.com/selling/benefits.htm" target="_blank">Amazon Marketplace</a>. When one shops for books on Amazon, they can look at the section reading (for example), &quot;5 used and new starting at $2.46.&quot; People buy tons of books there, as you can usually get a really good deal on a used, but &quot;like new&quot; copy. Group together a crop of books you don't need, then simply sign up for an Amazon Marketplace account as an individual selling fewer than 40 items per month, so that you only have to pay 99 cents per item and a few other fees.</p> <h2>Sell Antiques and Appliances on Craigslist</h2> <p>Good old Craigslist is always there for when you need to get rid of something fairly quickly. Got some majorly heavy and space-consuming gifts from family you can't use? Post an ad for that awkward antique floor lamp, the racing bike gathering dust, or that huge pizza oven that you'll never bake with on Craigslist. It's easy and everyone knows how it works. No setting up an elaborate account, and there's minimal upkeep. The buyer comes to you to pick up the bulky item and then it's out of your life.</p> <h2>Sell Household Items on OfferUp</h2> <p>For miscellaneous presents from friends and family that you know will only gather dust, sell them while they're still new on <a href="https://offerupnow.com/howitworks/" target="_blank">OfferUp</a> for extra money. OfferUp attempts to make the Craigslist style of selling accessible and easy for the mobile phone generation. Snap a photo of the item, add details, and post. You can chat instantly with buyers within the app, which is especially helpful for those who dread getting emails and texts from random strangers on Craigslist.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter">9 Gifts That Won&#039;t Become Clutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping Christmas Christmas gifts exchange gifts gifts Holidays Internet presents regift regifting resale sell your stuff Fri, 06 Jan 2017 10:00:10 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1869197 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: 10 Things That Are Cheaper After Christmas http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-10-things-that-are-cheaper-after-christmas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-10-things-that-are-cheaper-after-christmas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_shopping_holidays_499482866.jpg" alt="Women buying things that are cheaper after Christmas" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on things that are cheaper after Christmas, surprising uses for shampoo, and what to look for in an Airbnb listing.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.dontpayfull.com/blog/things-you-can-buy-cheaper-after-christmas">10 Things You Can Buy Cheaper After Christmas</a> &mdash; Gift sets go on sale after Christmas, so stock up if you want some nice toiletries or beauty products to use year round. [Don't Pay Full]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyaware.co.uk/2016/12/29-surprising-uses-for-shampoo/">29 Surprising Uses for Shampoo</a> &mdash; Rub a bit of shampoo onto a stiff zipper to get it slide smoothly again. [Money Aware]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2016/1218/What-to-look-for-in-an-Airbnb-listing-before-booking">What to look for in an Airbnb listing before booking</a> &mdash; Listings should include what sleeping arrangements are available: how many beds and cots, the sizes of the beds, and if there are extra charges for extra guests.&nbsp; [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/lifestyle/technology/10-ways-to-use-your-phone-to-pay-for-stuff/71814">10 Ways To Use Your Phone To Pay For Stuff</a> &mdash; You can get through the checkout line faster if you have a store's loyalty card linked through the store's app. [SheBudgets]</p> <p><a href="https://www.savingfreak.com/how-to-reduce-food-waste/">17 Ideas for How to Reduce Food Waste</a> &mdash; Coat your measuring cup or spoon with a&nbsp; little bit of oil so that sticky substances like honey slide right off. [Saving Freak]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="https://www.dailyworth.com/posts/4401-5-things-to-consider-when-donating-to-charities-and-nonprofits">5 Things to Consider in Your Year-End Giving</a> &mdash; If you want to donate money, consider small- and medium-sized organizations in your area that could really use the help. [Daily Worth]</p> <p><a href="http://www.currentoncurrency.com/avoid-weekend-money-traps/">How to Avoid Weekend Money Traps</a> &mdash; Limit how often you go to ticketed events like concerts and sports games. Save your money for the really special outings that you wouldn't want to miss. [Current on Currency]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/build-positive-habits/">How to Build Positive Habits</a> &mdash; Identify possible obstacles that would hinder you from developing a positive habit and figure out ways to deal with them. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Can-I-More-Organized-42854117">5 Things Organized People Do Every Day</a> &mdash; Organized people maintain a calendar or planner to note upcoming events. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.shoplet.com/environment/eco-friendly-gift-wrap-alternatives-to-be-merry-about/">Eco Friendly Gift Wrap Alternatives to be Merry About</a> &mdash; Use old maps &mdash; from road maps to theme park maps &mdash; to give your gifts a well-traveled feel! [Shoplet]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-10-things-that-are-cheaper-after-christmas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-ready-for-christmas-7-things-you-should-do-today">Get Ready for Christmas: 7 Things You Should Do Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deadweight-loss-of-christmas-economist-explains-why-gifts-are-inefficient">Deadweight loss of Christmas: Economist explains why gifts are inefficient</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-use-credit-card-rewards-this-christmas">5 Ways to Use Credit Card Rewards this Christmas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-160-gift-ideas-for-everyone-you-know">Flashback Friday: 160 Gift Ideas for Everyone You Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping best money tips Christmas Thu, 22 Dec 2016 10:30:32 +0000 Amy Lu 1858986 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Frugal Ways to Protect Your Home During the Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-ways-to-protect-your-home-during-the-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-frugal-ways-to-protect-your-home-during-the-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-137806346.jpg" alt="protect your home during holiday travel" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Headed out of town for the holidays? Don't get McCallistered! Keep the Harrys and Marvs at bay with these cheap ways to protect your home while you're away.</p> <h2>1. Ask a Friend or Neighbor to Watch the House</h2> <p>If you have the good fortune of having someone close to you who's sticking around for the holidays, it won't hurt to ask if they'd mind keeping an eye on your property &mdash; maybe even house sit. Your house sitter can collect the mail &mdash; as mail and newspaper buildup is a telltale sign that a house is unoccupied &mdash; and make sure trash and recycling is put out if you're departing on an off day.</p> <p>The sitter's coming and going will keep activity at your home consistent to deter would-be burglars. Make sure it's convenient for whomever you ask (if it's out of the way, you should expect to pay), and stock the fridge with the sitter's favorite foods and drinks to make the stay more comfortable and enjoyable.</p> <h2>2. Leave the Lights On</h2> <p>Even if I'm not leaving town for an extended period of time, I like to keep my dining room light or the TV in my living room on to create the illusion that someone is always home &mdash; and that's not a bad idea, according to Alyse Ainsworth, safety and security expert at ASecureLife.com.</p> <p>&quot;If your home looks like there are people in it, you'll be less likely to be robbed,&quot; she says. &quot;Consider installing motion light sensors or even a timer for your exterior and interior lights. You can also purchase timers that can be controlled with a mobile app. You can turn your lights on and off strategically, making it harder for burglars to keep track of patterns.&quot;</p> <p>Yes, I do realize that keeping the lights on nonstop for days on end will hike up that month's bill, but it's only one room, and it's cheaper than getting robbed.</p> <h2>3. Stop Announcing Your Plans on Social Media</h2> <p>I get it &mdash; you want to share your vacation plans with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but in doing so, you may be giving someone all the details they need to clean you out during your daiquiri fest on the beach. If you'd like to share your vacation photos, do it after the trip is over when you're safe at home. You'll enjoy more of your vacay when you're<em> present</em> anyway; two for one.</p> <h2>4. Lock Up Every Entrance</h2> <p>Before you leave your house for good, do one last check that all points of entry are locked and secure. &quot;Robbers will see an unlocked door as an invitation to come in and take whatever they want,&quot; Ainsworth says. But don't forget the garage or windows, either. Burglars aren't particularly picky about how they get into your house, and they'll exhaust all their options before they give up if you've got what they want inside.</p> <h2>5. Don't Leave a Paper Trail</h2> <p>Thieves don't just want your tangible things. These days, identity theft is perhaps more valuable than any material item burglars will lift from your home, and it's wise to keep that in mind when tossing receipts and other financial and identifying documents in the trash and recycling bins.</p> <p>&quot;With the growing concern of identity theft, residents should also be mindful of what they're throwing out, being sure to utilize a paper shredder for documents with sensitive, personal information,&quot; advises Lynn Edmonson, regional manager of a property management firm in Florida. &quot;Placing un-shredded items in the trash not only increases your odds of identity theft, but it is also a method for burglars to find out whether or not a home is worth the effort of being burglarized.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Call Your Local Authorities For a Safety Check</h2> <p>Identity theft expert Robert Siciliano offers a great tip most people probably don't think of: Call the police <em>before</em> your house is robbed. Local law enforcement can provide basic tips on how to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-home-defense-10-ways-to-protect-your-home-from-burglars" target="_blank">secure your home</a> before a trip, and they also can tell you what's trending in neighborhood crime &mdash; like bike or tool theft from a shed, for instance, or if home break-ins are on the rise and what the burglars are typically looking for. He also suggests looking for community programs in your area where law enforcement specialists are available to inspect properties and provide an assessment on how to fortify your home better.</p> <h2>7. Get a Dog &mdash; Or At Least a &quot;Beware of Dog&quot; Sign</h2> <p>Dogs are great protectors of your property &mdash; even those little guys whose barks are worse than their bites, because sometimes all it takes to deter a burglar is fear of having his limbs gnawed off. If you don't like the idea of pet parenthood, however, at least take a trip to Home Depot to pick up a &quot;Beware of Dog&quot; sign to make thieves think you've got a snarling canine on the premises. Siciliano details how to make the setup look even more authentic.</p> <p>&quot;Buy the biggest dog food bowl possible &mdash; one bowl for the front porch and one for the back,&quot; he says. &quot;Writing &quot;Killer&quot; on the bowl will give a burglar the impression that you have a big and vicious dog. You can even buy a barking dog alarm.&quot;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-frugal-ways-to-protect-your-home-during-the-holidays&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Frugal%20Ways%20to%20Protect%20Your%20Home%20During%20the%20Holidays.jpg&amp;description=7%20Frugal%20Ways%20to%20Protect%20Your%20Home%20During%20the%20Holidays" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Frugal%20Ways%20to%20Protect%20Your%20Home%20During%20the%20Holidays.jpg" alt="7 Frugal Ways to Protect Your Home During the Holidays" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-ways-to-protect-your-home-during-the-holidays">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-flying-during-the-holidays">The Ultimate Guide to Flying During the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-52-things-you-need-to-know-about-hosting-on-airbnb">Flashback Friday: 52 Things You Need to Know About Hosting on Airbnb</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-try-the-airstream-lifestyle-before-you-buy-one">10 Places to Try the Airstream Lifestyle Before You Buy One</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-simple-ways-to-take-stunning-travel-photos">8 Simple Ways to Take Stunning Travel Photos</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Travel Christmas holiday travel home protection home security surveillance travel Tue, 20 Dec 2016 11:30:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1858110 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Frugal Gifts for the Person Who Needs a Nap http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-gifts-for-the-person-who-needs-a-nap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-frugal-gifts-for-the-person-who-needs-a-nap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-535110735.jpg" alt="these are the perfect gifts for nap lovers" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Is anyone on your gift list cranky or stressed-out? Let's face it, this year has been pretty tiring. Maybe they need a nap. Heck, we all could probably use one.</p> <p>Napping can help you recharge, zap stress, and boost your mood. Who doesn't need that, especially during the holiday season? Let's encourage napping, and enjoy the benefits. Here are nine items that will make someone sleepy just by looking at them.</p> <h2>1. Cozy Blanket</h2> <p>I bought a super-soft <a href="http://amzn.to/2hM3Lq2" target="_blank">fleece throw</a> for my husband, and when I'm not stealing it, he's using it to nap. Tossing one over a chair looks homey.</p> <h2>2. Sleepy Tea</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2hM7u6X" target="_blank">Chamomile tea</a> is known for making people sleepy. According to the science, &quot;<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/" target="_blank">Sedative effects may be due to the flavonoid</a>, apigenin, that binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain.&quot; Or, it could just be the relaxing ritual of making a cup of tea that makes the eyelids heavy.</p> <h2>3. Eye Mask</h2> <p>For the light sleeper in your life, consider getting them an <a href="http://amzn.to/2gH5vET" target="_blank">eye mask</a>. The added darkness can keep that pesky sun from ruining a napping mood.</p> <h2>4. Nap-on-the-Go Accessories</h2> <p>Slightly germaphobic, I don't like using the blankets or pillows provided by the airlines. Who touched that? Ewww. So if you know a frequent traveler who feels the same way, consider this <a href="http://amzn.to/2hMbBQC" target="_blank">handy blanket and pillow combo</a>, complete with handy carrying strap.</p> <h2>5. White Noise Machine</h2> <p>We took our pediatrician's advice and did not stop doing chores while baby napped. Now the kid can sleep through <em>anything. </em>&quot;White noise&quot; is simply a combination of different sounds and frequencies. But no need to run the vacuum cleaner &mdash; just flip the switch on one of these <a href="http://amzn.to/2gzrfhk" target="_blank">white noise machines</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-a-50-year-old-gadget-may-be-the-best-cure-for-insomnia?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why a 50 Year Old Gadget May Be the Best Cure for Insomnia</a>)</p> <h2>6. Hot Water Bottle</h2> <p>To take the chill off, there is just something about a <a href="http://amzn.to/2hM4XtA" target="_blank">hot-water bottle.</a> The product, patented in 1903, is the epitome of low-tech. It's also really nice to have one of these comforting bottles around when you don't feel well. Just add hot water and snooze.</p> <h2>7. A Little Lavender</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2gH30T0" target="_blank">Lavender</a> may be just thing thing to help you rest, as it has been <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22612017" target="_blank">shown to reduce heart rate and blood pressure</a>. Spray a little spritz and see if it is sleep-inducing. If nothing else, it smells wonderful.</p> <h2>8. Fan</h2> <p>A <a href="http://amzn.to/2hMasbx" target="_blank">room fan</a> offers the combination of cooling the room &mdash; which <a href="http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/17/lets-cool-it-in-the-bedroom/?_r=0" target="_blank">signals the body that it is time to sleep</a> &mdash; plus a little white noise. I cannot sleep at night without my fan running. Any seasoned napper would love this extra snooze-boost.</p> <h2>9. Yoga Tunes</h2> <p>I'll admit that I have embarrassed myself by falling asleep in yoga class on, um, more than one occasion. Oh, well. Maybe the relaxing <a href="http://amzn.to/2hrZoUz" target="_blank">yoga music</a> will help your favorite napper, too.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-gifts-for-the-person-who-needs-a-nap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-160-gift-ideas-for-everyone-you-know">Flashback Friday: 160 Gift Ideas for Everyone You Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">25 Gifts That Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-you-should-start-your-holiday-shopping-now">10 Reasons You Should Start Your Holiday Shopping Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unique-holiday-gifts-for-teachers-that-theyll-actually-like">15 Unique Holiday Gifts for Teachers That They&#039;ll Actually Like</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping Christmas gift guide gift ideas holiday shopping nap need a nap shopping hacks sleep Fri, 16 Dec 2016 11:30:08 +0000 Marla Walters 1855410 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 80 Holiday Treats That Won't Bust Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-80-holiday-treats-that-wont-bust-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-80-holiday-treats-that-wont-bust-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/snowman_hot_chocolate_497277722.jpg" alt="Finding holiday treats that won&#039;t bust your budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Holiday beverages and baked goods are the best treats of all. They're warm and hearty, and extra sweet with the flavors of the season. While the price of ingredients can add up quickly, there's no need to spend all your money on said treats. Here are 80 holiday goodies that won't bust your budget.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/holiday_punch_000076603497.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-and-delicious-punch-recipes-for-holiday-parties?ref=fbf">15 Cheap and Delicious Punch Recipes for Holiday Parties</a> &mdash; This is peak holiday party time, so punch bowls around the world are full to the brim and ready to be drained. But you don't need pricey syrups, liquors, and pressed juices to make a yummy drink. Just use any of these cheap recipes!</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-savory-holiday-food-gifts?ref=fbf">7 Savory Food Gifts</a> &mdash; Since we've all been gobbling up candy and baked goods since Halloween, we might all need a break from the sweetness. These savory food gifts are just as delicious, but won't give you any instant cavities.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/270433978_851e50828b_z.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eat-your-garbage-turn-your-trash-into-delicious-holiday-food?ref=fbf">Eat Your Garbage! Turn Your Trash Into Delicious Holiday Food</a> &mdash; Ready to cook up some holiday meals? Shop your trash can! No, seriously. The food you always throw away might contain the key ingredients you need to make the perfect Christmas dish. Give it a go!</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unique-holiday-gifts-you-can-bake?ref=fbf">15 Delicious Gifts You Can Bake</a> &mdash; DIY holiday gifts are not only cheap, but they're also wonderfully personal. So when you can save money and give someone an edible gift they'll truly enjoy, it's a win-win for everyone.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/christmas_baked_goods_77270193.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-now-you-can-make-these-23-delicious-holiday-gifts?ref=fbf">Start Now: You Can Make These 23 Delicious Holiday Gifts</a> &mdash; There's still time to make many of these delicious gifts! Just grab your list, check it twice, and get cookin'.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-easy-delicious-and-homemade-holiday-gifts?ref=fbf">16 Easy, Delicious and Homemade Holiday Gifts</a> &mdash; I'm not inclined to cook or bake anything unless the recipe has &quot;Easy&quot; in the name. For those of you who can relate, these scrumptious holiday treats are right up your alley!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-80-holiday-treats-that-wont-bust-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-47-brilliant-ways-to-save-money-on-dinner">Flashback Friday: 47 Brilliant Ways to Save Money on Dinner</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-84-reasons-to-be-done-with-summer-and-get-excited-for-fall">Flashback Friday: 84 Reasons to Be Done With Summer and Get Excited for Fall</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-62-creative-uses-for-your-favorite-condiments">Flashback Friday: 62 Creative Uses for Your Favorite Condiments</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-160-gift-ideas-for-everyone-you-know">Flashback Friday: 160 Gift Ideas for Everyone You Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-106-delicious-lunches-that-will-make-you-excited-to-brown-bag-it">Flashback Friday: 106 Delicious Lunches That Will Make You Excited to Brown-Bag It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Food and Drink Christmas christmas food fbf flashback friday food and drink frugal living holiday food holiday treats recipes snacks Fri, 16 Dec 2016 11:00:16 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1855467 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Use Credit Cards Responsibly During the Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-responsibly-during-the-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-use-credit-cards-responsibly-during-the-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-525827989.jpg" alt="use credit cards responsibly during the holidays" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Americans enjoy Christmas so much, that they often get carried away. It's one thing to go all-out decorating a tree or preparing the ultimate Christmas dinner, but some take the holiday spirit too far when they charge so much to their credit cards that they begin the New Year under a mountain of debt. At the same time, credit cards are a very secure and convenient method of payment, and shoppers can earn valuable rewards for their holiday spending.</p> <p>Before you pull out the plastic this year, consider these tips for using your credit cards responsibly during the holidays</p> <h2>1. Set a Budget</h2> <p>If you had unlimited money, then you could simply buy everyone you know anything they want, and not worry about the cost. But the reality is that we all must live within our means, or face crippling debt and costly interest charges. Regardless of how much money you make, it's best to set a budget for your holiday spending and stick with it. Start with an overall figure for how much your household can afford to spend during the holidays, and then split that budget among your different expenses like gifts, decorations, parties, and travel.</p> <h2>2. Watch Your Credit Utilization Ratio</h2> <p>Your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit utilization</a> ratio is the amount of total debt you have divided by the total amount of credit you've been extended. A rule of thumb is that you don't want to use up more than 30% of the credit that you've been extended on any one of your cards, or on all of your credit cards as a whole. The lower that percentage, the better. If you find yourself having to keep an eye on your credit limits, you can pay down your balances before you receive your statements. Also, you can apply for new credit cards or ask for credit limit increases on your existing cards. However, you want to have very low balances when you apply for new credit. As the old saying goes, banks only want to lend money to those who don't need it.</p> <h2>3. Use Your Credit Card Account's Alerts</h2> <p>It's because credit cards are so convenient to use that it's so easy to overspend. However, nearly all credit card issuers now offer ways to configure email and text alerts. You can set alerts to notify you when your payments are due, or when you've reached a certain spending threshold. Many card issuers also allow you to configure an alert that notifies you when one of your authorized users spends a certain amount. And best of all, you can use these alerts for free.</p> <h2>4. Look for Holiday Promotions</h2> <p>The credit card industry is intensely competitive, and each card issuer is trying to give you a reason to use its card over its competitors' cards. One of the ways it does this is to offer special promotions throughout the holiday season. Check if your credit card offers exclusive discounts for spending at certain stores. For example, some issuers have a shopping portal where if you click to a partner site through their portal, you will get a discount (or extra rewards) for your purchases. Others might have a Twitter feed that offers discount codes, or another program that requires you to sign in and sign up for offers. However, be careful not to make unnecessary purchases just to receive a discount.</p> <h2>5. Maximize the Value of Your Rewards</h2> <p>If you are using a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">rewards credit card</a>, then you may have many choices when it comes time to redeem your points, miles, or cash back. If you are paying interest on your holiday debt, then the best thing that you can do with your rewards is to redeem them for statement credits to pay down your debt. But if you are able to avoid interest charges by paying off all of your statement balances each month, then you might be able to redeem your points and miles for travel rewards that are worth more than the cash back offered. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Ways to Use Your Points and Miles for Holiday Gifts</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-responsibly-during-the-holidays">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-save-money-with-credit-cards">10 Tricks to Save Money with Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-solid-credit-score-saves-you-money">How a Solid Credit Score Saves You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-important-credit-card-lessons-your-parents-didnt-teach-you">6 Important Credit Card Lessons Your Parents Didn&#039;t Teach You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reduce-your-credit-limits-to-manage-your-spending">Reduce Your Credit Limits to Manage Your Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-think-affect-your-credit-score-but-dont">10 Things You Think Affect Your Credit Score — But Don&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards budget Christmas credit debt Holidays shopping Fri, 16 Dec 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Jason Steele 1855411 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 No-Bake Holiday Treats That Won't Bust Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/12-no-bake-holiday-treats-that-wont-bust-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-no-bake-holiday-treats-that-wont-bust-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-497005966.jpg" alt="enjoy these no-bake treats for the holidays" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Love holiday treats, but not crazy about baking? Same here. If making treats involves heating up an oven, my enthusiasm wanes considerably. Fortunately, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tempting-no-bake-desserts" target="_blank">&quot;no-bake&quot; treats</a> have become extremely popular, so we need not open a bag of flour or grease any cookie sheets.</p> <p>Let's not bust our holiday budgets, though, while making holiday treats. Watch for sales on these items to have on hand: Crisp rice cereal, chocolate chips, baking chocolate, nuts, liquors, coconut, and candies. I find that Walmart usually has a good center aisle section of these items with prices that are hard to beat. I also frequent Costco for chocolate chips and nuts. For gift-giving, it's helpful to choose one item to make; that way you can take advantage of bulk buying. Not sure where to start? Here are 12 ideas.</p> <h2>1. Chocolate Bark</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3VOb14PG51w" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Chocolate-covered bark has become a popular gift around the holidays, and it's easy to see why. Turn your microwave into your new BFF. Here are several variations of super <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VOb14PG51w" target="_blank">easy-to-make barks</a> &mdash; from &quot;movie theater&quot; (including popcorn!) to almond, peanut butter-cup, and seasonal white chocolate craisin.</p> <h2>2. Peppermint Bark</h2> <p>Want more? Here is a <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/155827/milk-chocolate-peppermint-bark/" target="_blank">peppermint bark</a> that goes together quickly. Broken up and placed into cellophane bags, it looks festive and tastes terrific.</p> <h2>3. Kentucky Bourbon Balls</h2> <p>It just wouldn't be Christmas in our family without <a href="http://southernfood.about.com/od/bourbonballs/r/bl81212f.htm" target="_blank">bourbon balls</a>, which you can put together in no time.</p> <h2>4. Rum Balls</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/D0VInZma6s4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Prefer rum to bourbon? If so, try these <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/9777/no-bake-rum-balls/" target="_blank">rum balls</a>. This funny lady shows <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0VInZma6s4" target="_blank">how to make both variations</a>.</p> <h2>5. Mint Chocolate Chip Pie</h2> <p>Mom used to make grasshopper pie for Christmas dessert, but her recipe took much longer than the 20 minutes for this <a href="http://dinnersdishesanddesserts.com/no-bake-mint-chocolate-chip-pie/" target="_blank">mint-chocolate chip pie</a>. So use the quick and easy method! I love the incorporation of the tiny Andes mints.</p> <h2>6. Eggnog Pie</h2> <p>There are two selling points for this <a href="http://www.southyourmouth.com/2014/11/eggnog-pie.html?m=1" target="_blank">eggnog pie</a> recipe. First, it just says &quot;holiday.&quot; It's not like we can drink eggnog all year long, so let's do while we can. Secondly, it makes <em>two</em> pies. You can mix this up, let it chill overnight, and in the morning, ta-daah, pies, ready for a party, potluck, or a really nice gift.</p> <h2>7. Chex Mix</h2> <p>Mom used to heat the oven to make this party favorite <a href="http://www.chex.com/recipes/original-chex-mix/" target="_blank">Chex Mix</a>, but now you can make it in your microwave. I like to add extra zip by adding oregano, curry powder, or a few red chili flakes.</p> <h2>8. Spiced Nuts</h2> <p>These <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/spiced-nuts-recipe2.html" target="_blank">spiced nuts</a> are perfect for cocktail-party nibbling, but also make really terrific gift when packaged in clear, airtight bags. Best of all, you can make them in about 20 minutes.</p> <h2>9. Date Balls</h2> <p>These little <a href="http://www.kidspot.com.au/kitchen/recipes/no-bake-coconut-and-date-balls-2934" target="_blank">date balls</a> aren't exclusively a holiday snack, but with their coconut coating, they look like tiny snowballs. And with only two ingredients, they can be whipped up in a snap.</p> <h2>10. Coconut Cranberry Energy Bites</h2> <p>Not to be outdone, though, are these delicious <a href="http://lifemadesweeter.com/2016/01/no-bake-cranberry-coconut-energy-bites/" target="_blank">coconut cranberry energy bites</a>, made with Christmas-y cranberries.</p> <h2>11. Rice Krispie Pops</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uyWhWq9WOUA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>The holidays are a fun time to make treats with kids, but that doesn't have to mean turning on the oven. I love these <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyWhWq9WOUA" target="_blank">Rice Krispie pops</a>. To melt chocolate easily, put chips into a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 60 seconds. Stir. If that doesn't do it, give it another 30 seconds, and stir again.</p> <h2>12. Reindeer Pops</h2> <p>If these <a href="http://www.shesaved.com/2015/12/rice-krispie-reindeer-treats.html/" target="_blank">reindeer Rice Krispie pops</a> aren't the cutest darn things, well, I give up. Need <a href="http://amzn.to/2hHBTDA" target="_blank">candy eyeballs</a>? Got you covered.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-no-bake-holiday-treats-that-wont-bust-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-80-holiday-treats-that-wont-bust-your-budget">Flashback Friday: 80 Holiday Treats That Won&#039;t Bust Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-stockpiling-now-four-cheap-christmas-gifts-to-make">Start Stockpiling Now: Four Cheap Christmas Gifts to Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-delicious-dishes-you-can-make-with-a-can-of-tomato-soup">11 Delicious Dishes You Can Make With a Can of Tomato Soup</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-sort-of-small-kitchen-gadgets-that-equal-big-savings">4 Sort-of Small Kitchen Gadgets that Equal Big Savings!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Food and Drink Christmas christmas food holiday gifts holiday snacks holiday treats no-bake desserts no-bake snacks Thu, 15 Dec 2016 11:00:09 +0000 Marla Walters 1854678 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-155441599.jpg" alt="it&#039;s okay to do your holiday shopping at the last minute" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Full disclosure here, folks: I'm a planner. Most years, I start my holiday shopping in October and have everything wrapped Martha Stewart-style by Thanksgiving. But the older I get, and the more holidays I put behind me, the more tempted I am to cross over to the other side.</p> <p>For just one year, I'd like to make October and November strictly about enjoying the changing leaves, spooking trick-or-treaters, and consuming an embarrassing amount of turkey. Why? Because procrastinating offers some strategic advantages, especially during the holidays. Here are nine reasons why it's perfectly okay to shop for the holidays at the very last minute.</p> <h2>1. More Seasonal Spirit</h2> <p>Compared to those of us who start our holiday shopping in the heat of August, last-minute buyers are far more immersed in the spirit of the season. The air is crisp, stores are decked out in full holiday cheer, carolers are caroling, and everything feels more festive. If you have trouble gearing up for the holiday, a last-minute shopping trip could be the nudge you need.</p> <h2>2. Deeper Discounts</h2> <p>Who needs Black Friday? Retailers live and die by their holiday sales volume. The closer the holiday, the more anxious they are to hit their sales goals, clear out inventory, and prepare for the next big sales season. Last-minute shoppers can take advantage of this reality and score some amazing deals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/december-deals-that-are-better-than-black-friday?ref=seealso">December Deals That Are Better Than Black Friday</a>)</p> <h2>3. Amazing Online Deals</h2> <p>Sometimes the best last-minute deals are just a click away. Online retailers promote doorbuster discounts at different times throughout the holiday season. And if you don't mind being late with a gift or two, standard shipping is often free for buyers who meet minimum purchase requirements.</p> <h2>4. More Planning Time</h2> <p>Choosing to delay your holiday shopping doesn't have to mean you're operating in complete chaos. Procrastination gives you more time to plan and more time to see what other gifts have already been exchanged &mdash; two distinct advantages if you want find just the perfect item and avoid giving a duplicate gift.</p> <h2>5. Smaller Crowds</h2> <p>As the holidays draw near, most people focus less on shopping and more on decorating their homes, cooking, preparing for visitors, or traveling. That means malls and other retail outlets can be almost serene for eleventh-hour shoppers.</p> <h2>6. No Spoiled Surprises</h2> <p>No matter how expert your skills of concealment, kids have an uncanny ability to sniff out their gifts. But last-minute shoppers have nothing to worry about. They only need to hide their gifts for a few days &mdash; heck, sometimes just a few short hours! That means half-pint hunters have less time to explore and less chance of spoiling their surprise on Christmas morning.</p> <h2>7. Fewer Wish List Changes</h2> <p>Some children's holiday wish lists could generously be described as &quot;fluid.&quot; New products, changing tastes, and evolving interests all mean that what you bought in early November could be passé by late December. Here, last-minute shoppers have a distinct advantage: They can dash out the door on December 23rd with relative certainty that they have the latest and greatest wish list in-hand.</p> <h2>8. More Time to Save</h2> <p>In theory, the longer you wait to shop, the more time you'll have to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-do-now-to-get-your-finances-in-order-for-the-holidays">prep your finances for the holidays</a> and sock away some green. Last-minute shoppers who've been disciplined budgeters can pay cash for every item on their holiday list &mdash; that means not having to rely on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=internal">credit cards and avoiding interest charges</a>. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!</p> <h2>9. Bigger Challenge</h2> <p>Are you one of those amazing people who work best under pressure? Then December 22&ndash;24 is your time to shine. Slam a double espresso, hit the malls, check out your favorite neighborhood shops, and start wrapping. You got this.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-160-gift-ideas-for-everyone-you-know">Flashback Friday: 160 Gift Ideas for Everyone You Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-30-brilliant-ways-to-survive-black-friday-madness">Flashback Friday: 30 Brilliant Ways to Survive Black Friday Madness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter">9 Gifts That Won&#039;t Become Clutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping Christmas gifts holiday shopping holiday shopping hacks Holidays shopping shopping hacks Mon, 12 Dec 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1851184 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 160 Gift Ideas for Everyone You Know http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-160-gift-ideas-for-everyone-you-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-160-gift-ideas-for-everyone-you-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_christmas_gifts_486887902.jpg" alt="Woman finding gift ideas for everyone she knows" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's now officially Go Time for Christmas shoppers. You've got your list of people to buy gifts for, and you're still trying to figure out what to get, and meanwhile, the days are slipping away fast. Should you spend hours digging through their social media profiles to find some gift inspiration? Or is it just easier to throw your hands up and buy them all the same scented candle? The good news is that you don't have to do either, because we've found the perfect gift for just about everyone.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_holding_gift_000052221060.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-unique-gift-ideas-for-women?ref=fbf">47 Unique Gift Ideas for Women</a> &mdash; Need a gift for the woman in your life? She's probably not that hard to shop for. Any of these 47 items will put a big smile on her face.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-great-frugal-gifts-for-booklovers?ref=fbf">11 Great Frugal Gifts for Booklovers</a> &mdash; It's no secret that bookworms love books. But they also love book-related gifts! The best part is that most of them don't cost much money, so pick any of these and your budget will remain intact.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/christmas-treats-gift-509805851-small.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-easy-delicious-and-homemade-holiday-gifts?ref=fbf">16 Easy, Delicious and Homemade Holiday Gifts</a> &mdash; Homemade gifts are personal, frugal, and often extremely delicious! If you're looking to save some Christmas coinage, give these a go for your favorite sweet tooth.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-experiences-that-make-great-gifts?ref=fbf">21 Experiences That Make Great Gifts</a> &mdash; You know what lasts longer than a thing? A happy memory. So if you have someone who needs their day brightened (and who doesn't?) give them a lasting memory through a fun event or amazing experience.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/man_holding_gift_000054369890.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-unique-gift-ideas-for-men?ref=fbf">50+ Unique Gift Ideas for Men</a> &mdash; What do you get for the guy who has everything? And what do you get for the guy who only has some things? Men are notoriously hard to shop for, but this list will take away the guesswork so you can get your favorite fellas things they'll adore.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-genius-gifts-for-office-secret-santa?ref=fbf">15 Genius Gifts for Office Secret Santa</a> &mdash; Don't forget about your coworkers this holiday season! Many offices do a Secret Santa gift exchange, and when you don't know your coworkers very well, it feels impossible to shop for them. But even if you only know one detail about them, these gift ideas will help you narrow down your gift search.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-160-gift-ideas-for-everyone-you-know">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-30-brilliant-ways-to-survive-black-friday-madness">Flashback Friday: 30 Brilliant Ways to Survive Black Friday Madness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-44-sneaky-shopping-traps-to-avoid">Flashback Friday: 44 Sneaky Shopping Traps to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-47-best-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: 47 Best Back-to-School Shopping Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-49-smartest-amazon-hacks-that-will-save-you-big">Flashback Friday: 49 Smartest Amazon Hacks That Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping Christmas christmas shopping fbf flashback friday frugal living gift guides gift ideas holiday shopping sales shopping shopping hacks Fri, 09 Dec 2016 11:00:09 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1850498 at http://www.wisebread.com 18 DIY Christmas Ornaments That Are Better Than Store Bought http://www.wisebread.com/18-diy-christmas-ornaments-that-are-better-than-store-bought <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/18-diy-christmas-ornaments-that-are-better-than-store-bought" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-495986648.jpg" alt="diy christmas ornaments" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Food and gifts for the family can be really pricey, but your holiday decorations and ornaments don't have to be. Store-bought ornaments can look generic, and your friends might end up with the same ones. With DIY ornaments, your decorations will stand out from the crowd. The best <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-frugal-christmas-decorating-hacks">DIY Christmas ornaments</a> can also serve as a great keepsake and can honor cherished memories and moments of your life.</p> <p>Whether it's your first Christmas and you don't have many ornaments to begin with, or you just don't want to break the budget this year, here are plenty of ways to decorate your tree on a budget.</p> <h2>1. Filled Glass Ornaments</h2> <p>Fill a glass or clear plastic ornament with artificial snow, glitter, snowflakes, small glittery pom poms, twigs, holly, bayberry, or evergreen for a festive feel. A pack of <a href="http://amzn.to/2fGnTIB">10 glass ornaments</a> is under $7 and you can fill them with items you have around the house for cheap, customized ornaments.</p> <h2>2. Snowman Ornaments</h2> <p>Fill a glass or clear plastic ornament with small marshmallows. Use <a href="http://amzn.to/2gQqCUZ">puffy paint</a> to draw a snowman face.</p> <h2>3. Glitter Ornaments</h2> <p>Swirl a layer of <a href="http://amzn.to/2fGnZ2V">Beacon Glitter It Glue</a> on the inside of a glass or clear plastic ornament. Add glitter of your choice and swirl around inside the ornament. Pour out the excess glitter and enjoy your sparkly new ornament. You can also use puffy paint to draw on a snowman's face to a white glitter ornament.</p> <h2>4. Painted Ornaments</h2> <p>The easiest DIY ornament involves the use of puffy paint or <a href="http://amzn.to/2gd4wLv">paint pens</a>. Simply draw whatever you like on a <a href="http://amzn.to/2fvy4Vf">plainly colored ornament</a>. You can add polka dots with a small piece of sponge, add a monogram, or draw on Santa's belt. You can also use <a href="http://amzn.to/2gQqWDb">letter stickers</a> to spell out words and holiday phrases, like &quot;Ho Ho Ho.&quot; You can also print out your favorite logos, images, or superhero signs, which you can glue to your affordable ornament.</p> <h2>5. Pine Cone Ornaments</h2> <p>The hardest part about this DIY is finding a pine cone. Then, just hot glue each end of a piece of twine or jute onto the end of the pinecone so that you can hang it on your tree. Spray paint the pine cone or hot glue a piece of ribbon tied into a bow for an added touch.</p> <h2>6. Name Tag Ornaments</h2> <p>Create a personalized name tag for each of your guests. Use a stamp, stickers, or a paint pen to write the name of your guest on the <a href="http://amzn.to/2gcYpGO">name tag</a> and hang from the tree using ribbon or twine. Decorate the name tags however you like.</p> <h2>7. CD Ornaments</h2> <p>Have leftover CDs lying around that you don't want anymore? Break them into small pieces and glue the broken pieces onto the outside of a ribbon filled glass or clear plastic ornament.</p> <h2>8. Orange Ornaments</h2> <p>Cut oranges crosswise into &frac34;&quot; slices for a pinwheel effect. Bake in the oven at the lowest temperature for four hours. Every hour, turn the slices with a spatula to ensure they aren't too dried out and still have an orange color. Create a tiny hole in the top of each slice and string twine through. As an added bonus, cats don't like the smell of citrus, so these ornaments can deter your cats from fiddling with the tree.</p> <h2>9. Apple Ornaments</h2> <p>Insert a piece of floral wire into a small apple (like a mini sweet lady apple) with enough wire at the top to wrap around the tree branch. Aim for smaller, lighter apples so they don't weigh down your tree.</p> <h2>10. Key Ornaments</h2> <p>Simply attach standard or skeleton keys to your tree using ribbon. It looks festive and regal (and allows you to embrace your love of keys). You can also spray paint the keys different colors.</p> <h2>11. Washi Tape Ornaments</h2> <p>Use your favorite <a href="http://amzn.to/2fGe3qg">washi tape</a> to make any designs you like on the outside of a glass ornament.</p> <h2>12. Gold Leaf Ornaments</h2> <p>Either choose plainly colored ornaments or paint a plain ornament with your favorite colored paint. Then, add gold leaf paper for an elegant touch. <a href="http://amzn.to/2fGoYQL">Gold leaf paper</a> often comes with an <a href="http://amzn.to/2gd2Xgg">adhesive</a>. When you're painting the ornament, you can either paint the outside or add a bit of paint inside the ornament, then swirl it around and pour out the excess paint.</p> <h2>13. Ombre Ornaments</h2> <p>Simply pour some <a href="http://amzn.to/2gAkfov">glass stain paint</a> into a bowl. Dip the glass or clear plastic ornament into the bowl and let the remaining paint drip off to create an ombre effect. Either leave the ornament as-is or fill it with mementos.</p> <h2>14. Beach Ornaments</h2> <p>Fill a glass or clear plastic ornament with sand, small seashells, and glitter to create a beachy scene. You can also use puffy paint on the outside to draw on seagulls, fish, and anything else that reminds you of your favorite days at the beach.</p> <h2>15. Cinnamon Tree Ornaments</h2> <p>Use a piece of naturally coiled wrapped wire to form a loop. Push the ends into the hollow ends of a cinnamon stick. Hot glue small sprigs of fresh rosemary perpendicularly to create branches. Attach small buttons, beads, or rhinestones to the rosemary (to look like tiny ornaments). The ornament will smell great and look cute on your tree.</p> <h2>16. Candle Holders</h2> <p>Turn a wine glass upside down to use the base as a candle holder. You can put anything you like in the wine glass, such as ribbons, small poinsettias, mini pinecones, cranberries, or ornaments.</p> <h2>17. Cinnamon Men Ornaments</h2> <p><strong><em>Ingredients</em></strong><em>: </em></p> <ul> <li>1 cup unsweetened applesauce</li> <li>1 1/2 cup ground cinnamon</li> <li>2 T craft glue</li> </ul> <p><strong><em>Method</em></strong><em>:</em></p> <p>Mix the three ingredients together in a bowl and then form into a ball with your hands. Roll the dough out to about &frac14;&quot; and use cookie cutters to create your favorite ornament shapes. Use a toothpick, bamboo skewer, or straw to poke holes at the top, which you can wrap a ribbon through to hang the scented ornaments from your tree. Allow them a few days to dry or place them in a 200&ordm;F oven for 1-2 hours. Decorate the ornaments with glitter, puffy paint, rhinestones, beads, and candy.</p> <h2>18. Clay Ornaments</h2> <p><strong><em>Ingredients</em></strong><em>: </em></p> <ul> <li>1/2 cup cornstarch</li> <li>1 cup baking soda</li> <li>3/4 cup water</li> </ul> <p><strong><em>Method</em></strong><em>:</em></p> <p>Mix the ingredients together in a pot aver medium heat until the dough thickens to the consistency of smooth mashed potatoes. Once it has slightly cooled, place the ball of dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth until it has fully cooled. Knead the dough and roll it out to about &frac14;&quot; and use cookie cutters to create your favorite ornament shapes. Use a toothpick, bamboo skewer, or straw to poke holes at the top, which you can wrap a ribbon through to hang the scented ornaments from your tree. Place them in a 175&ordm;F oven for one hour, turning them over halfway through cooking. Use paint or glitter to decorate. You can also use food coloring to the water before mixing up the batter for custom colored ornaments.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-diy-christmas-ornaments-that-are-better-than-store-bought">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-frugal-christmas-decorating-hacks">14 Frugal Christmas Decorating Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-festive-and-easy-diy-holiday-decorations">14 Festive and Easy DIY Holiday Decorations</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-festive-frugal-ways-to-spruce-up-your-home-for-the-holidays">6 Festive, Frugal Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-festive-ways-to-dress-up-your-property-for-the-holidays">13 Festive Ways to Dress Up Your Property for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home Christmas Christmas ornament Christmas tree decorations diy decor DIY gifts diy ornament Holidays Mon, 05 Dec 2016 12:00:14 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1845595 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Use Credit Card Rewards this Christmas http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-use-credit-card-rewards-this-christmas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-use-credit-card-rewards-this-christmas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-495229472.jpg" alt="woman holiday shopping" title="woman holiday shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the holidays almost here, you've probably already braced yourself for the busy days ahead. November and December are notorious for packing in so many events &mdash; with end-of-year work parties, family get-togethers, and holiday parties galore. And then there's the gift shopping. The financial impact of the holidays shouldn't be underestimated.</p> <h2>5 Ways to Use Credit Card Rewards this Christmas</h2> <p>If you're struggling to afford Christmas this year &mdash; or just want to save as much as you can &mdash; your rewards credit card could become an unlikely ally. With enough points and miles, you could save a boatload on holiday gifts and other end-of-year expenses.</p> <p>Consider these 5 strategies to maximize your rewards and boost the number of gifts you can put under the tree:</p> <h3>Redeem credit card points for gift cards.</h3> <p>While not every rewards credit card lets you redeem points for gift cards, most do. It's usually easy to use. Log into your credit card account and you should be able to find an option to &quot;use your points.&quot; From there, you should see a selection of gift card options for redemption. Most $25 gift cards ring in at just 2,500 points.</p> <p>While gift cards can be the perfect gift for some loved ones on your list, you don't have to give your gift cards to others to save. If you'd rather, you can use your gift cards to purchase the perfect gift instead.</p> <h3>Use your rewards to book holiday travel for yourself or others.</h3> <p>Have hotel points or airline miles? A stash of flexible travel credit? Consider using your points to bless your family with the best gift of all &mdash; your presence during the holiday season.</p> <p>That's right; you can use your points and miles to travel to see family, or bring them to you. While it isn't commonly advertised, most rewards programs let you use your points to book airfare and hotel stays for others. Depending on the type of travel rewards card you have, you might be able to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards?ref=internal">redeem points on partner airlines</a>, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles?ref=internal">transfer points to the travel program</a> of your choice.</p> <h3>Use statement credits to save on your holiday shopping bill.</h3> <p>Most standard <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal">cash back credit cards</a> and some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal">travel credit cards</a> let you redeem points for a statement credit. You'll usually get the standard rate of one cent per point. This allows you to&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px;">cover your Christmas bills easily. Calculate the number of points you have and what that would transfer for, set your budget, and then apply the points to your account to cover at least part of your holiday purchases. Some cards will allow you to cash in your points as a direct deposit into your bank account, making holiday shopping a breeze.</span></p> <h3>Redeem points for merchandise.</h3> <p>Various rewards credit cards offer their own version of a shopping mall. By logging into your credit card account, clicking over to your card's rewards portal, and browsing options, you can redeem your points for nearly anything you can buy, or get big bonus points for shopping at the vendors through the portal.</p> <p>Buy your mother the KitchenAid blender she's always wanted, pick up a tablet for your nieces and nephews, or shop for electronics, jewelry, or arts and crafts. There are usually hundreds of vendors to select from.</p> <h3>Book experiences you can share.</h3> <p>Certain cards let you use your points for much more than merchandise and cash; some let you book valuable once-in-a-lifetime experiences as well. Depending on where you live, a wide range of fun events can be booked with points &mdash; and at no additional cost. I've gone snorkeling with stingrays in Grand Cayman, taken an electric bike tour in Athens, and booked a day trip to Tuscany all through my rewards points. Of course, there are tons of local options to try.&nbsp;No matter where you live and what your family enjoys, you can use your points to book something fun and unexpected.</p> <h2>Final Thoughts</h2> <p>While credit card rewards are often seen as something you earn for your own use, there's no reason you can't leverage your points to buy things for others.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you're in the market for a good rewards card, now is also the perfect time to sign up. With plenty of holiday spending in your future, you could earn a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal">huge signup bonus</a> and more rewards for every dollar you spend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-the-holidays?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards for the Holidays</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-use-credit-card-rewards-this-christmas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-worst-holiday-credit-cards">The Worst Holiday Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">The Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">Top 7 Reasons Why I Use My Credit Card for Everything</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Shopping Christmas credit card rewards Thu, 24 Nov 2016 11:30:11 +0000 Holly Johnson 1839477 at http://www.wisebread.com Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_christmas_gift_46067724.jpg" alt="Woman saving on Christmas shopping with gift cards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Last year, the average American <a href="http://americanresearchgroup.com/holiday/">spent $882 on holiday gifts</a> &mdash; and that amount does not include money spent on décor, meals, or clothes. Many people rack up credit card debt, and with high interest rates, that can make payments on their Christmas purchases for months after the holiday.</p> <p>However, it doesn&rsquo;t have to be that way. You can still celebrate Christmas with gifts and decorations without going into debt. Using discounted gift cards is an ingenious way to stretch your budget further and minimize debt.</p> <h2>Why So Many Gift Cards Are Available at a Discount</h2> <p>There&rsquo;s a reason stores love selling gift cards. Each year, you likely receive gift certificates or cards for your birthday or other holidays. And while it&rsquo;s the thought that counts, you probably tucked one or two away in a drawer and forgot about them. The average person has <a href="https://www.giftcardgranny.com/statistics/">$300 in gift cards</a> going unused, and over $41 billion in cards went unredeemed from 2011 to 2015.</p> <p>Most of the time, cards are stagnant because the gift recipient does not shop at the selected store, or items at the location are too expensive to be covered by the balance of the card. Rather than let the card just sit in a drawer gathering dust, many people opt to get money back in their pockets by selling them.</p> <p>Cheap cards are available through online sites that are 3% to 30% less than their value. From Sephora to Target, you can get a gift card at a significant discount, allowing you to buy more with your money.</p> <h2>Using a Discounted Gift Card</h2> <p>Purchasing a gift card at a reduced price is like giving yourself a huge coupon. For example, you can get a $250<a href="https://www.giftcardgranny.com/buy-gift-cards/h-and-m/">H&amp;M gift card</a> for just $169.62, saving you $80.38. That means you can buy $250 worth of merchandise at a 32% discount. With that savings, you can buy more items within your budget &mdash; or save it.</p> <p>Alternatively, you can gift loves ones a discounted gift card and let them go shopping themselves. Buying a gift card at a reduced price allows you to give a more generous holiday present without breaking the bank.</p> <h2>Where to Buy Cards</h2> <p>There are many sites that sell a wide range of discounted cards. These are three of the most popular.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.giftcardgranny.com/">Gift Card Granny</a> offers discounted cards from hundreds of retailers, from large big box stores to niche chains. Discounts change each day, and you can find cards marked 50% under their actual value.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.cardpool.com/">Cardpoo</a>l sells cards up to 35% under value. They offer gift cards to stores like Lowe&rsquo;s, Best Buy, Target, and more.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://giftcardzen.com/buy">Gift card Zen</a> is part of coupon site RetailMeNot. You can find cards for hundreds of retailers, including AMC Theatres, American Girl, and Macy&rsquo;s.</li> </ul> <p>Purchasing gift cards and using them for your Christmas shopping is an easy way to get more from your money. You can get a significant discount on your purchases, letting you celebrate the holiday without going broke.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">13 Financial Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Christmas discounts gift cards gifts Holidays online shopping saving money Wed, 23 Nov 2016 11:00:08 +0000 Kat Tretina 1812050 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Old Holiday Traditions We Can't Believe Ever Existed http://www.wisebread.com/8-old-holiday-traditions-we-cant-believe-ever-existed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-old-holiday-traditions-we-cant-believe-ever-existed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-157689386.jpg" alt="we can&#039;t believe these old holiday traditions" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We like to think of the holidays as a time when we return to time-honored traditions, but the truth is that traditions change over the years. Ask your grandparents on Thanksgiving if they spent the day the same way you do now, and you may hear some surprising stories. They might have taken to the streets wearing masks, believe it or not. And if your elders immigrated from Europe, they might tell you about the Christmas Spider, who spread holiday cheer all over the world. Yeah.</p> <p>And that's not all. Here are some of the craziest old holiday traditions we could find.</p> <h2>Thanksgiving</h2> <p>Think shopping is the weirdest thing anyone has ever done on Turkey Day? Even the newest holiday on the calendar has plenty of oddities in its past.</p> <h3>1. Pray All Day</h3> <p>You might spend the fourth Thursday in November watching football and eating, but the holiday's concept springs from Calvinist Thanksgivings, which were days set aside for <a href="http://www.plimoth.org/learn/multimedia-reference-library/read-articles-and-writings/thanksgiving-history">nonstop prayer</a>. These weren't annual events. They were not to be held on Sunday &mdash; which could be why we celebrate Thanksgiving on a weekday.</p> <p>When the first national Thanksgiving was announced in 1777, the <a href="http://www.pilgrimhallmuseum.org/pdf/TG_First_National_Thanksgiving_Proclamation_1777.pdf">Continental Congress</a> specified that no &quot;recreation&quot; was allowed; instead folks should devote the time off to &quot;Confession of their manifold Sins.&quot;</p> <h3>2. Fast, Not Feast</h3> <p>Sometimes a Thanksgiving was set aside as a feast day, but other times for eating nothing at all. After the Union victory at Gettysburg, President Lincoln <a href="http://rogerjnorton.com/Lincoln99.html">set aside the last Thursday of September</a> of 1863 as &quot;a day of humiliation, prayer, and fasting for all the people of the nation.&quot; Later that year, Lincoln declared another Thanksgiving, during which grateful northerners fed turkey dinners to troops.</p> <h3>3. Masquerade</h3> <p>Going out to the mall on Thanksgiving Day is seen as breaking the tradition of spending it at home with family, but surprisingly, it was once popular to take to the streets on T-Day. Not to shop, but to <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/theprotojournalist/2014/11/19/365195079/when-thanksgiving-was-weird">show off your festive mask</a>.</p> <p>&quot;The chief feature of the day was the street charivari,&quot; reads an 1899 New York Times article. Charivari? Pronounced &quot;shivery,&quot; a charivari is a rowdy masked parade. Masks depicted everything from fictional characters to caricatures of ethnicities: &quot;Fausts, Filipinos, Mephistos, Boers, Uncle Sams &hellip;&quot; There were also boys in drag.</p> <h3>4. Dressing Up as Native Americans</h3> <p>When I was a child, my kindergarten teacher set up a teepee in our classroom, and we donned headdresses and banged drums. Luckily, most schools have at least toned down this inaccurate and offensive cultural appropriation, and many <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2003-11-22/news/0311220160_1_native-americans-costumes-stereotypes">schools have eliminated</a> any trace of pilgrim and Native American costumes or craft projects.</p> <h2>Christmas</h2> <p>Leaving veggies out for Santa's reindeer might seem like a strange modern tradition, but oh boy, old school traditions were so much weirder.</p> <h3>5. Santa's Sidekicks</h3> <p>In modern America, usually only benevolent Santa Claus surveilles child behavior. But in Europe, a tradition dating back hundreds of years gives St. Nick a darker counterpart, half-goat, half-man <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/12/131217-krampus-christmas-santa-devil/">Krampus</a>, who punishes children that don't make Santa's &quot;nice&quot; list. In the Netherlands even today, Santa arrives with a helper called <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/11996588/Dutch-Black-Pete-makes-annual-arrival-to-howls-of-protest.html">Black Piet</a>, who, despite growing protests and an obvious level of offensiveness, is a white person in blackface. Other European countries also have bizarre St. Nick helpers, including &quot;The Whipping Father&quot; in France.</p> <h3>6. Candles on the Tree</h3> <p>As if bringing a dead tree into your living room isn't enough of a <a href="http://wrfmc.com/Fire_Museum/Fire_Safety_files/Holiday%20Fire%20Safety%20Tips.pdf">fire hazard</a> &mdash; the original twinkling holiday lights were flaming candles, and were all the rage in <a href="http://mentalfloss.com/article/26585/brief-history-christmas-tree-lights">Germany in the 1600s</a>.</p> <p>Wasn't that dangerous? Oh yes. A Chicago hospital burned to the ground because of tree candles, and in 1908 insurance companies tried to ban them.</p> <h3>7. O Holy Fright</h3> <p>Folks in Eastern Europe have seen hard times &mdash; sometimes so hard that families could not afford to decorate the holiday tree. Not to worry! The <a href="http://www.whychristmas.com/customs/trees.shtml">Christmas spider</a> will cover it with cobwebs, which ideally the magic of Christmas transforms into silver and gold tinsel by morning. It's not recorded whether children would leave a plate of dead bugs for the Christmas spider to snack on.</p> <h3>8. J-E-L-L- Oh Heck No</h3> <p>In the '50s and '60s, gelatin molds were all the rage, leading disturbing &quot;festive&quot; meal items such as the <a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelwmiller/truly-horrifying-vintage-holiday-recipes?utm_term=.jkVz4Mbmj#.vqnJdeZRP">Vegetable and Tuna Jell-O Wreath</a>. Then there's this <a href="http://www.foodtimeline.org/christmasmenu.html#50christmas">1956 &quot;red&quot; themed dinner menu</a> that includes &quot;salmon pudding.&quot; Yikes.</p> <p>We like to think of the holidays as a time when we return to time-honored traditions, but the truth is that traditions change over the years. Ask your grandparents on Thanksgiving if they spent the day the same way you do now, and you may hear some surprising stories. They might have taken to the streets wearing masks, believe it or not. And if your elders immigrated from Europe, they might tell you about the Christmas Spider, who spread holiday cheer all over the world. Yeah.</p> <p>And that's not all. Here are some of the craziest old holiday traditions we could find.</p> <h2>Thanksgiving</h2> <p>Think shopping is the weirdest thing anyone has ever done on Turkey Day? Even the newest holiday on the calendar has plenty of oddities in its past.</p> <h3>1. Pray All Day</h3> <p>You might spend the fourth Thursday in November watching football and eating, but the holiday's concept springs from Calvinist Thanksgivings, which were days set aside for <a href="http://www.plimoth.org/learn/multimedia-reference-library/read-articles-and-writings/thanksgiving-history">nonstop prayer</a>. These weren't annual events. They were not to be held on Sunday &mdash; which could be why we celebrate Thanksgiving on a weekday.</p> <p>When the first national Thanksgiving was announced in 1777, the <a href="http://www.pilgrimhallmuseum.org/pdf/TG_First_National_Thanksgiving_Proclamation_1777.pdf">Continental Congress</a> specified that no &quot;recreation&quot; was allowed; instead folks should devote the time off to &quot;Confession of their manifold Sins.&quot;</p> <h3>2. Fast, Not Feast</h3> <p>Sometimes a Thanksgiving was set aside as a feast day, but other times for eating nothing at all. After the Union victory at Gettysburg, President Lincoln <a href="http://rogerjnorton.com/Lincoln99.html">set aside the last Thursday of September</a> of 1863 as &quot;a day of humiliation, prayer, and fasting for all the people of the nation.&quot; Later that year, Lincoln declared another Thanksgiving, during which grateful northerners fed turkey dinners to troops.</p> <h3>3. Masquerade</h3> <p>Going out to the mall on Thanksgiving Day is seen as breaking the tradition of spending it at home with family, but surprisingly, it was once popular to take to the streets on T-Day. Not to shop, but to <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/theprotojournalist/2014/11/19/365195079/when-thanksgiving-was-weird">show off your festive mask</a>.</p> <p>&quot;The chief feature of the day was the street charivari,&quot; reads an 1899 New York Times article. Charivari? Pronounced &quot;shivery,&quot; a charivari is a rowdy masked parade. Masks depicted everything from fictional characters to caricatures of ethnicities: &quot;Fausts, Filipinos, Mephistos, Boers, Uncle Sams &hellip;&quot; There were also boys in drag.</p> <h3>4. Dressing Up as Native Americans</h3> <p>When I was a child, my kindergarten teacher set up a teepee in our classroom, and we donned headdresses and banged drums. Luckily, most schools have at least toned down this inaccurate and offensive cultural appropriation, and many <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2003-11-22/news/0311220160_1_native-americans-costumes-stereotypes">schools have eliminated</a> any trace of pilgrim and Native American costumes or craft projects.</p> <h2>Christmas</h2> <p>Leaving veggies out for Santa's reindeer might seem like a strange modern tradition, but oh boy, old school traditions were so much weirder.</p> <h3>5. Santa's Sidekicks</h3> <p>In modern America, usually only benevolent Santa Claus surveilles child behavior. But in Europe, a tradition dating back hundreds of years gives St. Nick a darker counterpart, half-goat, half-man <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/12/131217-krampus-christmas-santa-devil/">Krampus</a>, who punishes children that don't make Santa's &quot;nice&quot; list. In the Netherlands even today, Santa arrives with a helper called <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/11996588/Dutch-Black-Pete-makes-annual-arrival-to-howls-of-protest.html">Black Piet</a>, who, despite growing protests and an obvious level of offensiveness, is a white person in blackface. Other European countries also have bizarre St. Nick helpers, including &quot;The Whipping Father&quot; in France.</p> <h3>6. Candles on the Tree</h3> <p>As if bringing a dead tree into your living room isn't enough of a <a href="http://wrfmc.com/Fire_Museum/Fire_Safety_files/Holiday%20Fire%20Safety%20Tips.pdf">fire hazard</a> &mdash; the original twinkling holiday lights were flaming candles, and were all the rage in <a href="http://mentalfloss.com/article/26585/brief-history-christmas-tree-lights">Germany in the 1600s</a>.</p> <p>Wasn't that dangerous? Oh yes. A Chicago hospital burned to the ground because of tree candles, and in 1908 insurance companies tried to ban them.</p> <h3>7. O Holy Fright</h3> <p>Folks in Eastern Europe have seen hard times &mdash; sometimes so hard that families could not afford to decorate the holiday tree. Not to worry! The <a href="http://www.whychristmas.com/customs/trees.shtml">Christmas spider</a> will cover it with cobwebs, which ideally the magic of Christmas transforms into silver and gold tinsel by morning. It's not recorded whether children would leave a plate of dead bugs for the Christmas spider to snack on.</p> <h3>8. J-E-L-L- Oh Heck No</h3> <p>In the '50s and '60s, gelatin molds were all the rage, leading disturbing &quot;festive&quot; meal items such as the <a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelwmiller/truly-horrifying-vintage-holiday-recipes?utm_term=.jkVz4Mbmj#.vqnJdeZRP">Vegetable and Tuna Jell-O Wreath</a>. Then there's this <a href="http://www.foodtimeline.org/christmasmenu.html#50christmas">1956 &quot;red&quot; themed dinner menu</a> that includes &quot;salmon pudding.&quot; Yikes.</p> <p>We like to think of the holidays as a time when we return to time-honored traditions, but the truth is that traditions change over the years. Ask your grandparents on Thanksgiving if they spent the day the same way you do now, and you may hear some surprising stories. They might have taken to the streets wearing masks, believe it or not. And if your elders immigrated from Europe, they might tell you about the Christmas Spider, who spread holiday cheer all over the world. Yeah.</p> <p>And that's not all. Here are some of the craziest old holiday traditions we could find.</p> <h2>Thanksgiving</h2> <p>Think shopping is the weirdest thing anyone has ever done on Turkey Day? Even the newest holiday on the calendar has plenty of oddities in its past.</p> <h3>1. Pray All Day</h3> <p>You might spend the fourth Thursday in November watching football and eating, but the holiday's concept springs from Calvinist Thanksgivings, which were days set aside for <a href="http://www.plimoth.org/learn/multimedia-reference-library/read-articles-and-writings/thanksgiving-history">nonstop prayer</a>. These weren't annual events. They were not to be held on Sunday &mdash; which could be why we celebrate Thanksgiving on a weekday.</p> <p>When the first national Thanksgiving was announced in 1777, the <a href="http://www.pilgrimhallmuseum.org/pdf/TG_First_National_Thanksgiving_Proclamation_1777.pdf">Continental Congress</a> specified that no &quot;recreation&quot; was allowed; instead folks should devote the time off to &quot;Confession of their manifold Sins.&quot;</p> <h3>2. Fast, Not Feast</h3> <p>Sometimes a Thanksgiving was set aside as a feast day, but other times for eating nothing at all. After the Union victory at Gettysburg, President Lincoln <a href="http://rogerjnorton.com/Lincoln99.html">set aside the last Thursday of September</a> of 1863 as &quot;a day of humiliation, prayer, and fasting for all the people of the nation.&quot; Later that year, Lincoln declared another Thanksgiving, during which grateful northerners fed turkey dinners to troops.</p> <h3>3. Masquerade</h3> <p>Going out to the mall on Thanksgiving Day is seen as breaking the tradition of spending it at home with family, but surprisingly, it was once popular to take to the streets on T-Day. Not to shop, but to <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/theprotojournalist/2014/11/19/365195079/when-thanksgiving-was-weird">show off your festive mask</a>.</p> <p>&quot;The chief feature of the day was the street charivari,&quot; reads an 1899 New York Times article. Charivari? Pronounced &quot;shivery,&quot; a charivari is a rowdy masked parade. Masks depicted everything from fictional characters to caricatures of ethnicities: &quot;Fausts, Filipinos, Mephistos, Boers, Uncle Sams &hellip;&quot; There were also boys in drag.</p> <h3>4. Dressing Up as Native Americans</h3> <p>When I was a child, my kindergarten teacher set up a teepee in our classroom, and we donned headdresses and banged drums. Luckily, most schools have at least toned down this inaccurate and offensive cultural appropriation, and many <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2003-11-22/news/0311220160_1_native-americans-costumes-stereotypes">schools have eliminated</a> any trace of pilgrim and Native American costumes or craft projects.</p> <h2>Christmas</h2> <p>Leaving veggies out for Santa's reindeer might seem like a strange modern tradition, but oh boy, old school traditions were so much weirder.</p> <h3>5. Santa's Sidekicks</h3> <p>In modern America, usually only benevolent Santa Claus surveilles child behavior. But in Europe, a tradition dating back hundreds of years gives St. Nick a darker counterpart, half-goat, half-man <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/12/131217-krampus-christmas-santa-devil/">Krampus</a>, who punishes children that don't make Santa's &quot;nice&quot; list. In the Netherlands even today, Santa arrives with a helper called <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/11996588/Dutch-Black-Pete-makes-annual-arrival-to-howls-of-protest.html">Black Piet</a>, who, despite growing protests and an obvious level of offensiveness, is a white person in blackface. Other European countries also have bizarre St. Nick helpers, including &quot;The Whipping Father&quot; in France.</p> <h3>6. Candles on the Tree</h3> <p>As if bringing a dead tree into your living room isn't enough of a <a href="http://wrfmc.com/Fire_Museum/Fire_Safety_files/Holiday%20Fire%20Safety%20Tips.pdf">fire hazard</a> &mdash; the original twinkling holiday lights were flaming candles, and were all the rage in <a href="http://mentalfloss.com/article/26585/brief-history-christmas-tree-lights">Germany in the 1600s</a>.</p> <p>Wasn't that dangerous? Oh yes. A Chicago hospital burned to the ground because of tree candles, and in 1908 insurance companies tried to ban them.</p> <h3>7. O Holy Fright</h3> <p>Folks in Eastern Europe have seen hard times &mdash; sometimes so hard that families could not afford to decorate the holiday tree. Not to worry! The <a href="http://www.whychristmas.com/customs/trees.shtml">Christmas spider</a> will cover it with cobwebs, which ideally the magic of Christmas transforms into silver and gold tinsel by morning. It's not recorded whether children would leave a plate of dead bugs for the Christmas spider to snack on.</p> <h3>8. J-E-L-L- Oh Heck No</h3> <p>In the '50s and '60s, gelatin molds were all the rage, leading disturbing &quot;festive&quot; meal items such as the <a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelwmiller/truly-horrifying-vintage-holiday-recipes?utm_term=.jkVz4Mbmj#.vqnJdeZRP">Vegetable and Tuna Jell-O Wreath</a>. Then there's this <a href="http://www.foodtimeline.org/christmasmenu.html#50christmas">1956 &quot;red&quot; themed dinner menu</a> that includes &quot;salmon pudding.&quot; Yikes.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-old-holiday-traditions-we-cant-believe-ever-existed">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-holiday-pet-dangers-to-avoid">11 Holiday Pet Dangers to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-and-delicious-punch-recipes-for-holiday-parties">15 Cheap and Delicious Punch Recipes for Holiday Parties</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-diy-christmas-ornaments-that-are-better-than-store-bought">18 DIY Christmas Ornaments That Are Better Than Store Bought</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-festive-frugal-ways-to-spruce-up-your-home-for-the-holidays">6 Festive, Frugal Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-frugal-christmas-decorating-hacks">14 Frugal Christmas Decorating Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Home Christmas feast frugal living holiday traditions Holidays religion Thanksgiving traditions Tue, 22 Nov 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1837833 at http://www.wisebread.com The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy_bank_christmas_50816262.jpg" alt="Following a simple holiday budget anyone can follow" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Promised yourself that you'd finally make a solid budgeting plan this holiday season &mdash; and stick to it? We've got your covered with these simple steps anyone can follow to stay in the black when the red and green take over.</p> <h2>1. Set Aside Only the Amount You Can Afford</h2> <p>So many people start the New Year in debt solely because of overspending during the holidays. You don't want that burden on your back. Rather, when planning your budget, allot only an amount you can actually afford, preferably in cash already saved, to the gifts you'd like to buy.</p> <p>&quot;Do not go into debt with holiday spending,&quot; warns consumer expert Kevin Gallegos. &quot;Making that commitment means changing your mindset. It may be telling yourself that giving people what they think they deserve is a mistake. You'll also want to avoid the trap of feeling you must give a gift equal to what someone gave you last year, or creating a perfect ski slope of presents under the tree. Chances are that your family and friends really don't want you to suffer financially in order to give them bigger gifts.&quot;</p> <p>It also stands to reason that they may not have returned the gesture in kind, either. So there's that.</p> <h2>2. Set Limits for Total Holiday Spending</h2> <p>Before you ever leave the house &mdash; or turn on the computer to shop online &mdash; you should establish how much you plan to spend this season and perhaps even on each person on your list. Having a specific number in mind will not only provide a guide as to what your limit is, but it will also help you choose the perfect gift for everyone based on how much money you've assigned to them.</p> <p>Alexis Nido-Russo is the owner of Chicago-based online jewelry store Local Eclectic, and she offers a very specific way on how to break down your holiday budget.</p> <p>&quot;Determine what your total budget for the holidays is, then map out who you have to buy for and assign percentages to each person or category,&quot; she says.</p> <p>For example, if there are six people on your list and your total budget is $1,000, perhaps your percentage breakdown looks something like this:</p> <ul> <li>Husband: 20% or $200</li> <li>Daughter: 30% or $300</li> <li>Mother: 15% or $150</li> <li>Sister: 15% or $150</li> <li>Mother-in-law: 10% or $100</li> <li>Best Friend: 10% or $100</li> </ul> <p>Of course, your specific budget and who appears on the list will vary. You also can shift numbers around if you find the right gift at a lower cost, or you can send that money back to your savings account where it'll better serve you. Also remember to factor in ancillary holiday expenses too, which can absolutely decimate your budget if you're not careful; things like holiday cards and postage, teacher gifts, travel costs, and food and drinks for entertaining.</p> <h2>3. Gather Your Coupons and Discounts</h2> <p>Go through your favorite circulars, emails, and apps to scrounge up all the deals and savings you can &mdash; then start to map out a plan of attack. For example, I'm on the email lists of many of my favorite retailers who send me a seemingly never-ending stream of promotional messages throughout the year, but especially around holiday time. (I recommend <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-email-trick-will-save-you-big-on-shopping">creating a dummy email account</a> for this to preserve your sanity, by the way.) Because I'm privy to insider information, I try to schedule my shopping around their biggest sales and pair them with additional saving that I may have from mailers, previous shopping trips, or in my text messages &mdash; all of which are excellent ways to receive additional discounts.</p> <h2>4. Make Cuts to Your Gift-Giving List</h2> <p>In a perfect world, we'd buy presents for everyone we know during the holidays &mdash; but that's just not feasible. So instead of trying to sneak everyone in because you feel obligated to purchase something, stick to those closest to you.</p> <p>&quot;If your shopping list includes more than five people outside of your immediate family, cut down on the number of people on your gift list,&quot; suggests Rachel Namoff, managing partner of Denver-based asset management firm Arapaho Asset Management. &quot;Then, make a homemade gift, like cookies, to give to all the people you snipped from your original gift list. Ensure you spread the holiday cheer without looking like a Scrooge while enjoying a fun activity with the family.&quot;</p> <p>If you still feel like you may be blindsided by a rogue gift for which you have a return gift, there are a few things you can do:</p> <ul> <li>Update your status on social media that details your holiday shopping plan and who's on the list. Remember, there's no shame in being on a budget, especially if money is already tight.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Contact people directly and let them know that you won't be able to exchange this year if gift giving to one another was established in the past.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Keep your unwanted gifts in storage to have at the ready so you can provide something in return if you feel so obligated.</li> </ul> <h2>5. Enlist the Help of Budgeting Apps</h2> <p>If you're not particularly financial or budget savvy, you can find help online. In fact, there are plenty of mobile apps that'll keep your holiday budget just a few taps of the finger away so you can access it while in real time while you're shopping. Gallegos recommends apps from Mint or Quicken to simplify the process, but there are plenty of others available &mdash; and we've <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sites-and-apps-to-help-you-track-your-spending-and-stick-to-your-budget">detailed them in abundance here on Wise Bread</a> &mdash; that will track your spending down to the cent.</p> <h2>6. Thoughtful Homemade Gifts Are Cherished and Inexpensive</h2> <p>Namoff suggested baking cookies for those you're trimming from your main list this year, but there's no reason you can't extend this homemade concept to the more important people in your life. I'm admittedly materialistic &mdash; I love my stuff &mdash; but I'm not devoid of sentiment, thus I prefer thoughtful, handmade items over anything store-bought because I know what kind of time and effort goes into a gift like that. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-now-you-can-make-these-23-delicious-holiday-gifts?ref=seealso">You Can Make These 23 Delicious Holiday Gifts</a>)</p> <p>Another argument for going this route is that most people in your life rarely need anything that they don't already buy themselves. Personally, if I want something, I save for it and buy it; I don't wait to pawn it off on someone else at Christmas. Certainly I have provided a list of items to my family in the past, but those are merely suggestions and nothing that I need. What I need to know is that you care, and the best way to do that is to sit down and think about how to put a smile on my face at holiday time, and you'll get that reaction from me if you spent more time than money on my gift.</p> <h2>7. Stop Waiting Until the Last Minute to Do Your Shopping</h2> <p>They say the early bird gets the worm, and that's completely true at holiday time. While there are plenty of arguments on why Black Friday isn't necessarily the day you'll get the best deals &mdash; there are amazing offers all times of year and even between Thanksgiving and Christmas &mdash; but you will absolutely do yourself a disservice by waiting until Christmas Eve to buy presents.</p> <p>For starters, by then the pickins will be slim, and you're probably going to disappoint your loved ones with your laziness. Secondly, if you're an online shopper, you will often spend an incredible amount of money on shipping charges the last couple days before the big day, and even then you're not guaranteed that it'll arrive on time in some cases. Save yourself the headache, heartbreak, and surcharges by scheduling your shopping at least a couple weeks before the holiday.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-use-technology-to-save-on-christmas-shopping">6 Easy Ways to Use Technology to Save on Christmas Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-holiday-season-costs-everyone-always-forgets-about">13 Holiday-Season Costs Everyone Always Forgets About</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping apps Christmas coupons discounts gifts Holidays homemade gifts presents saving shopping lists Mon, 21 Nov 2016 11:31:03 +0000 Mikey Rox 1815065 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Earn Extra Income While Christmas Shopping http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-earn-extra-income-while-christmas-shopping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-earn-extra-income-while-christmas-shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_phone_78930915.jpg" alt="Woman earning extra income while Christmas shopping" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Christmas shopping can be expensive and time-consuming. Wouldn't it be great if you could take advantage of that time to make some extra money? Fortunately, we found a few ways for you to earn extra cash for the holidays while you do your Christmas shopping.</p> <h2>1. Use Your Car</h2> <p>If your vehicle is in good condition, you may want to consider signing up with one of the ride-share services. With services like Uber and Lyft, you can choose which rides you want to provide, at a time most convenient for your schedule. So, for instance, you can pick up riders when you have some extra time, who happen to be going in the same direction as your favorite holiday shops. You can even charge for carpool services to take your neighbors with you on your next shopping trip. They can avoid taking their car, you'll get gas money, and you can even shop together to make the experience more enjoyable.</p> <p>If you're already using your car to drive people around, you may also consider renting out your car with sites like <a href="https://turo.com/">Turo</a> when you're not using it. Around the holidays, people tend to travel more and are in need of a reliable vehicle during their vacation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-earn-extra-money-with-your-car?ref=seealso">7 Ways to Earn Extra Money With Your Car</a>)</p> <h2>2. Deliver Items</h2> <p>Getting paid to run errands can be fun, rewarding, and a quick way to earn money on your own time, on your own schedule. Typically, these gigs include shopping for groceries, delivering food, driving people around, and a myriad tasks that may be suited more to your specialties or interests. You can deliver items and run errands with sites like Postmates, Instacart, Amazon Flex, Door Dash, TaskRabbit, Fiverr, and many more.</p> <p>During the holidays, it can be especially lucrative to run errands for people when they are too busy with holiday plans to do things like gift buying, shopping for decorations, and mailing out packages at the post office. If you actually enjoy holiday shopping, you can even make money personal shopping for people who just don't have the time or desire to do it themselves. All you'll have to do is complete their holiday shopping while you complete your own, so it won't take much time out of your day and you can earn a decent amount around the holidays. Typically, you can charge by the hour or by the trip. You can also sign up with a company like <a href="https://www.care.com/errand-runners">Care.com</a> to run errands for seniors, with an average rate of $13.50/hr.</p> <h2>3. Use Rewards Cards and Reward Sites</h2> <p>Using <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal">credit cards with rewards</a> for holiday shopping can result in quite a bit of cash back after holiday shopping is complete. If you need to spend money on Christmas gifts anyway, you might as well save money, and earn a little money, while you're doing it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-your-credit-card-will-save-you-money-while-holiday-shopping?ref=seealso">11 Ways Your Credit Card Will Save You Money On Holiday Shopping</a>)</p> <p>Sites like <a href="http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=vIhagUaAxdMIsu435wELZg%3D%3D&amp;eeid=26471">Ebates</a> and <a href="http://swagbucks.7eer.net/c/27771/19503/799">Swagbucks</a> can give you cash back when you shop and save you money with promo codes. With these sites, you can also take advantage of surveys, videos, and online games that reward points upon successful completion, which you can later exchange for gifts. You can even play games and watch videos while you're waiting in line to pass the time and earn points for dollar rewards. Sites like Ibotta also offer challenges (such as shopping at particular stores or for particular items), and once you prove that you have completed these challenges by submitting a screenshot of your receipts, you can earn points for cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps?Ref=seealso">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a>)</p> <h2>4. Complete Online Surveys</h2> <p>Completing online surveys while you stand in line will help you earn a little cash and will make the time fly by. Sites like Opinion Outpost, ProOpinion, and Nielsen Homescan will pay you for each online service you complete, so you can complete them on your own time. You can also be selective about which surveys you fill out, only completing the most lucrative ones.</p> <h2>5. Make Extra Crafts to Sell</h2> <p>If you have a talent, such as painting, jewelry making, knitting, or crafting, consider gifting some of your work to your friends and family. It will cut down on who you need to shop for, cost you less, and will mean more to the recipient. Better yet, consider making extra crafts to sell on eBay or Etsy so you can also make some extra money from your craft.</p> <h2>6. Take Photos</h2> <p>Sites like <a href="https://us.fotolia.com/Info/Contributors">Fotolia</a>, <a href="http://submit.shutterstock.com/?language=en">Shutterstock</a>, and <a href="https://www.smugmug.com/features/sell-photos-online">SmugMug</a> will buy your original photos. Consider taking photos of your area while you Christmas shop to sell online. This can be particularly lucrative if you live in a large city or popular destination. Just take a camera with you during your Christmas shopping and you can sell the photos later when you get home.</p> <h2>7. Become a Mystery Shopper</h2> <p>With mystery shopping, you will be paid to visit a store and give input on your experience. Whether you complete your mystery shopping in a store that you were already going to shop at, or at the same mall that you were already planning on shopping at, it will only require a small investment of your time and can garner you some serious side cash. However, it can be difficult to find legitimate mystery shopping positions that pay well, so you may have to research this a bit before getting started. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/check-out-these-5-legit-mystery-shopping-gigs?ref=seealso">Check Out These 5 Legit Mystery Shopping Gigs</a>)</p> <h2>8. Lose Weight</h2> <p>Believe it or not, you can actually get paid to lose weight. Sites like <a href="https://www.dietbet.com/">DietBet</a>, <a href="http://www.pactapp.com/">Pact</a>, and <a href="https://www.healthywage.com/">HealthyWage</a> will allow you to set weight loss goals for yourself. If you meet those goals, or complete weight loss challenges and contests, in a specified amount of time, you will receive money. Not only will this help you make a little money while you're running around doing your Christmas shopping, but it can also provide another incentive not to gain an excess amount of holiday weight. <a href="https://www.achievemint.com/">Achievement</a> offers a similar type of payout program for completing healthy activities, which won't require any additional investment of time or energy during the holiday shopping season.</p> <p>Many people actually burn calories during their holiday shopping, but then gain it back during their holiday eating. It doesn't take much more effort to burn more calories while you're out and about, so this is an easy way to make a little bit of extra money on the side. The only downside to this is in order to take part in these challenges, you will need to contribute a small amount of money yourself. If you do not complete the challenge or meet your goals, the money you invested will be split among the winners.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-earn-extra-income-while-christmas-shopping">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carving-pumpkins-and-14-other-cool-ways-to-make-cash-from-fall-holidays">Carving Pumpkins and 14 Other Cool Ways to Make Cash From Fall Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-last-minute-gifts-for-book-lovers">11 Last Minute Gifts for Book Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-last-minute-gifts-that-keep-on-giving">25 Last Minute Gifts That Keep on Giving</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Shopping Christmas delivery Holidays losing weight making money mystery shopping rewards ride share surveys Fri, 18 Nov 2016 11:00:08 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1834287 at http://www.wisebread.com