Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/61/all en-US 8 Classic Toys That Won Christmas http://www.wisebread.com/8-classic-toys-that-won-christmas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-classic-toys-that-won-christmas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/barbie_pink_hat_514110576.jpg" alt="Finding classic toys that won Christmas" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're trying to connect with your child, nephew or niece, little cousin, or your best friend's kid, you may have a hard time getting their eyes away from Pokemon Go or the Elena of Avalor TV show.</p> <p>Fortunately, as the holiday season is getting nearer, you have one great way to get their attention: must-have toys from yesteryear. From the Radio Flyer Wagon to the G.I. Joe action figure, let's walk down memory lane and review eight notorious holiday toys that still provide hours of entertainment.</p> <h2>1. Radio Flyer Wagon (1923)</h2> <p>I have learned many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-lessons-about-money-i-learned-after-having-twins">lessons after having twins</a>. And one of them is that some classics just never go out of style. First known as the No. 4 Liberty Coaster and handcrafted in wood, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2g6puwH">Radio Flyer Wagon</a> was a must-have item in most lists of good boys and girls in the 1920s. Nowadays, these wagons are colored in their signature red, made out of stamped metal, and continue to encourage kids to go outside and play.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact:</strong> The inventor of this wagon, Antonio Pasin, named it after his two favorite inventions, the radio and the airplane.</p> <h2>2. Buck Rogers Rocket Pistol (1934)</h2> <p>First introduced in the Amazing Stories comic book series in 1928 and eventually landing his own TV series in the 1970s, the futuristic superhero Buck Rogers has been captivating audiences for nearly a century. Rogers' iconic rocket pistol was first sold in 1934 and made a signature &quot;Zap!&quot; sound. Getting your hands on an original one might be too expensive, but there are many manufacturers making plenty of much more affordable versions of the <a href="http://amzn.to/2h2IERk">classic toy ray gun</a>.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact:</strong> There are many versions of the Buck Rogers rocket pistol, including the XZ-31 Rocket Pistol, XZ-38 Disintegrator Pistol, and XZ-44 Liquid Helium Water Pistol.</p> <h2>3. Slinky (1945)</h2> <p>&quot;It's Slinky; it's Slinky. For fun it's a wonderful toy. It's fun for a girl and a boy!&quot; That <a href="https://youtu.be/EZL6RGkPjws">TV jingle </a>that has been hashed and rehashed for decades. Little changes has been made to the same <a href="http://amzn.to/2g6AidZ">Slinky</a> walking spring toy that was a hit during the 1945 Christmas shopping season. Still, all of us still marvel at Slinky's nonstop journey down any set of stairs.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact: </strong>In recent years, most kids first got exposed to the Slinky while watching the <a href="http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0002476/">Slinky Dog</a> (also known just as &quot;Slinky&quot;) character in the Toy Story movies from 1995, 1999, or 2010. Fans of the movie will be happy to hear that Slinky is coming back in a fourth installment in the series scheduled for 2019!</p> <h2>4. Lego (1958)</h2> <p>The name Lego is an abbreviation of the two Danish words &quot;leg gods,&quot; meaning &quot;play well.&quot; This is not only the company's name, but also its ideal. If you think that these little interlocking color blocks were invented in no time, think again. The Lego Group has been around since 1932 and it wasn't until 1949 that the group came up with the first design for the first set of blocks. It took nine years of tinkering to get the design of the Lego as we know it today. Besides the <a href="http://amzn.to/2h2MzgW">classic Lego set</a>, you can find brick sets in a wide range of models, purposes, and colors.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact: </strong>Some Lego sets can become great investments: An Imperial Star Destroyer worth <a href="http://time.com/money/4162059/lego-investment-compare-gold-return/">$249.99 in 2002</a> today is worth about $2,185 (a 774% return). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-stash-your-money-besides-a-savings-account?ref=seealso">10 Places to Stash Your Money Besides a Savings Account</a>)</p> <h2>5. Chatty Cathy (1959)</h2> <p>1959 was a great year for dollmakers, and they came out with many iconic dolls that are still beloved by little girls everywhere. First created in 1959, Chatty Cathy was groundbreaking as it could say 11 phrases, including &quot;Let's play school&quot; or &quot;I love you,&quot; after pulling a string on her back. If you can get a hold on an original or <a href="http://amzn.to/2gZBQUd">reproduction version of Chatty Cathy</a>, you'll definitely have a conversation starter as they are very hard to find nowadays.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact: </strong>Besides the original blonde and blue-eyed Cathy, Mattel also release a brunette Cathy and an African-American Cathy.</p> <h2>6. Barbie (1959)</h2> <p>While Cathy generally appealed to a younger set of girls, Barbie attracted many groups. With her virtually endless collection of accessories, clothing pieces, vehicles, and homes, Barbie is the top selling doll of all time. To address the consumer demand for Barbies with more realistic body shapes and more sensible career choices, Mattel has released updated dolls, including the <a href="http://amzn.to/2h2Iida">Barbie Careers Game Developer Doll</a> and the <a href="http://amzn.to/2hdRESz">Barbie Fashionistas Doll &amp; Fashions Emoji Fun, Curvy</a>.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact:</strong> Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts. She is from Willows, Wisconsin and celebrates her birthday every March 9th (she'll be 58 in 2017!).</p> <h2>7. Etch A Sketch (1960)</h2> <p>Originally <em>L'Ecran Magique</em>, this toy was a total flop when it was first introduced in 1959 at an European toy fair. Still, the Ohio Art. Co saw the toy's potential, bought the rights, renamed it to Etch A Sketch, and released the mechanical drawing toy a year later in the U.S. Today, you can find the <a href="http://amzn.to/2gZH4zl">classic Etch A Sketch</a> in a wide variety of sizes, including keychain-size and giant board.</p> <p><strong>Fun fact:</strong> The toy was so popular during its release that the Ohio Art Co.'s factory workers had to work <a href="http://www.toyhalloffame.org/toys/etch-sketch">until noon on Christmas Eve</a> to meet demand!</p> <h2>8. G.I. Joe (1964)</h2> <p>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2g6BkGQ">original G.I. Joe action figures</a> stood 12-inches tall and represented four of the branches of the U.S. armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps). While the popularity of G.I. Joe drowned out over the next couple of years, the &quot;real American Hero&quot; was successfully relaunched in 1982 with a more kid-friendly size (3.75 inches, or 9.5 cms.), an animated TV miniseries, and an ongoing comic book. True to its fighting spirit, the Joes keep making a comeback to protect us against modern versions of their lethal archenemies, Cobra, as they did in the G.I. Joe movies in 2009 and 2013. <em>Go Joe!</em></p> <p><strong>Fun fact: </strong>G.I. Joe and Barbie went out on a date in 1996 in a <a href="https://youtu.be/uXdFKcETEPg">memorable Nissan TV commercial</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-classic-toys-that-won-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/this-year-s-hot-toy-is-next-year-s-trash">This Year’s Hot Toy is Next Year’s Trash</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/are-you-spending-too-much-on-halloween-this-year">Are You Spending Too Much on Halloween This Year?</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/how-to-use-new-toys-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use New Toys to Teach Kids About Money</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/the-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016">The Big List of Money-Saving Coupon Codes for Halloween 2016</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-homemade-child-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">10 Homemade Child Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Shopping barbie chatty Cathy classics dolls etch a sketch g.i. Joe Holidays kids legos radio flyer toys vintage Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:01:04 +0000 Damian Davila 1849010 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: What Do You Enjoy Most About the Holidays? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-do-you-enjoy-most-about-the-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-what-do-you-enjoy-most-about-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/woman_christmas_cozy_496580294.jpg" alt="Woman sharing what she enjoys most about the holidays" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The holiday season is a special time for many of us. This is a time to revisit traditions and create new ones, to eat seasonal foods with the people we love, and to spend time with friends and family. It's a time for cozy sweaters and hot cocoa by the fire, and, depending on where you are, afternoon walks in the snow or on the beach.</p> <p><strong>What do you enjoy most about the holidays?</strong> Are there any holiday traditions that you look forward to every year? What is your favorite seasonal food?</p> <p>Tell us what you enjoy most about the holidays and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a class="rcptr" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa274/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="79857dfa274" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_srzmwaeq">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on Flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, December 12th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after December 12th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us what you enjoy most about the holidays and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-do-you-enjoy-most-about-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/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores">Ask The Readers: Should Kids Get Paid For Doing Chores?</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/ask-the-readers-200-giveaway-would-you-ding-your-credit-to-get-out-of-debt">Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: Would You Ding Your Credit to Get Out of Debt?</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/ask-the-readers-name-your-favorite-moment-of-2010">Ask the Readers: Name Your Favorite Moment of 2010</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/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-new-years-resolution">Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year&#039;s Resolution?</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/ask-the-readers-do-you-have-the-tools-chance-to-win-ms-office">Ask the Readers: Do You Have the Tools? (Chance to win MS Office!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers Holidays Tue, 06 Dec 2016 12:00:10 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1844260 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/8-old-holiday-traditions-we-cant-believe-ever-existed">8 Old Holiday Traditions We Can&#039;t Believe Ever Existed</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-easy-holiday-lighting-hacks">10 Easy Holiday Lighting Hacks</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 15 Unique Holiday Gifts for Teachers That They'll Actually Like http://www.wisebread.com/15-unique-holiday-gifts-for-teachers-that-theyll-actually-like <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-unique-holiday-gifts-for-teachers-that-theyll-actually-like" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-483199046.jpg" alt="teachers will love these gifts" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The holiday season is upon us, and I've been starting my gift shopping in the hopes of finishing early so I can relax. On the list this year are my daughter's preschool teachers (three of them!) who have been tremendously helpful, nurturing, and caring.</p> <p>Out of respect for allergies in the classroom (as well as New Year's diet resolutions), I'm planning to give nonfood gifts this year. As a former teacher myself, I accumulated a good amount of impractical tchotchkes, so I assembled this list of practical gifts that teachers will actually like and use.</p> <h2>1. Personalized Tote Bag</h2> <p>As a former teacher, I spent many days lugging assignments back and forth in reusable shopping bags. Why not help a teacher out by giving him/her a sturdy, personalized tote bag? You can make it yourself by printing an iron-on transfer and decorating a plain canvas tote bag from the craft store, monogram a bag with fabric paint, or you can purchase one ready-made on Etsy. Either way, it's sure to send a message that an educator's hard work is appreciated.</p> <h2>2. Water Bottle</h2> <p>Coffee mugs are so 2003. Hydration is where it's at these days! Help your teacher stay healthy by providing them with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-aluminum-and-stainless-steel-water-bottles">sturdy reusable water bottle</a> that can be sipped from all day. Bottles from Camelbak and Contigo are always well-received, but less expensive options can be found at big box stores if you're on a budget.</p> <h2>3. Lunchbox Accessories</h2> <p>Like your kids, teachers usually pack a lunch to eat at school. Make your teacher feel a little more pampered at lunch time by giving them a fancy insulated lunch bag, a Thermos, and/or a few ice packs and reusable containers (at the rate I lose them, you can never have too many). A cookbook full of lunch ideas is also a great idea.</p> <h2>4. Gift Cards</h2> <p>While not the most personal gift, gift cards are certainly practical and are more likely to be used than any other gift. Starbucks, iTunes, and Amazon <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">gift cards are always useful</a> and appreciated. Gift cards to local restaurants are also a great way to help a teacher relax. Many teachers spend their own money on school supplies for students, so a gift card to Target, Walmart, Staples, or a craft store can help them keep costs down. Pair it with a thoughtful note and your teacher will be a happy camper.</p> <h2>5. Organization Tools</h2> <p>When it comes to gifts, teachers may have tchotchkes a-plenty, but nary a place to store them. Give the gift of organization with a set of sturdy baskets, boxes, and drawer organizers. Alternatively, a gift card to The Container Store might do the trick.</p> <h2>6. Personalized Office Supplies and Stationery</h2> <p>Put a smile on a teacher's face every time they open their desk drawer by providing a set of personalized office supplies. A monogrammed notepad, a personalized stamp, fancy scissors and staplers, and cute paper clips can brighten a teacher's day while remaining super practical.</p> <h2>7. Travel Accessories</h2> <p>Gift-giving occasions for teachers often happen before the winter or summer holidays, and your teacher might be taking a much-needed vacation. Why not make traveling a little easier by gifting some travel accessories? An attractive travel pouch with small toiletry bottles, mesh suitcase organizers, or a tote with a beach towel and sunscreen, can all be used by a jet-setting teacher.</p> <h2>8. Quality Bath Products</h2> <p>I always feel a little ambiguous about giving bath products, because as a teacher, I received my fair share of cheap, dollar-store bubble baths and lotions. However, I was always happy to receive quality bath products from brands like Bath and Body Works, The Body Shop, or Philosophy. De-stressing in a hot bath with some aromatherapy bath salts really did wonders to lift my mood after a hard day.</p> <h2>9. Low-Maintenance Plants</h2> <p>The great thing about giving plants is that the teacher can leave them in the classroom to brighten up their work day, or take them home if they desire. And if they die, they can be thrown away and won't clutter up a junk drawer for years. Easy care plants such as succulents and air plants are good choices, or a pretty flower like an orchid or bromeliad that blooms for a long time.</p> <h2>10. Movie Night In</h2> <p>Give a teacher a relaxing night in by packing a basket with a cozy throw blanket, a gift card for an online movie rental (such as iTunes, Amazon, or Google Play), and a box of microwave popcorn. (Okay. Technically, this is a food gift, but popcorn makes every movie better!)</p> <h2>11. Classroom Supplies</h2> <p>If you're a teacher, you'll know that students are constantly asking to borrow pens, and somehow those pens rarely find themselves back onto your desk. Keep your child's teacher's costs down by giving him/her a jar full of pens that can be kept on their desk. Other useful items that teachers often buy themselves include highlighters, bandages, stickers, sticky notes, and sanitizing wipes.</p> <h2>12. Books for the Classroom</h2> <p>Most teachers get plenty of trinkets from students every year, but classroom supplies remain neglected. Age-appropriate books are great for kindergarten and lower-grade classrooms which may reuse the same small selection of books all year. You may want to ask the teacher what books are needed, or simply give them a gift card to a bookstore so they can make the best choice.</p> <h2>13. Activity Books</h2> <p>Adult coloring books are all the rage these days, and for good reason. They are incredibly relaxing. A coloring book with a set of nice colored pencils could be a thoughtful gift for a teacher, especially for someone who likes crafting. A sudoku or crossword puzzle book could be similarly fun to do when the teacher gets a little spare time.</p> <h2>14. Hobby Supplies</h2> <p>Have your child ask the teacher what hobbies they enjoy, and give them hobby supplies. Some ideas include: scrapbooking supplies, gardening supplies, baking tools and mixes, or a gift certificate to a hobby store.</p> <h2>15. Handmade Gifts</h2> <p>Nothing is as memorable or personal as a gift that was lovingly handmade by your child. Whether that's a personalized T-shirt or baseball cap, a classroom scrapbook, a planter, ornament, or picture frame, it's sure to send the message that you and your child appreciate the teacher's hard work and dedication to their job.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unique-holiday-gifts-for-teachers-that-theyll-actually-like">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/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">25 Gifts That Save Money</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/are-you-spending-too-much-on-halloween-this-year">Are You Spending Too Much on Halloween This Year?</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/the-art-of-the-group-gift">The Art of the Group Gift</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-holiday-gifts-hostesses-love">6 Holiday Gifts Hostesses Love</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/50-unique-gift-ideas-for-men">50+ Unique Gift Ideas for Men</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Shopping budgeting gift guide gift ideas gifts for teachers holiday shopping Holidays nonfood gifts teachers Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:00:13 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1844263 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Decorate Your Christmas Tree for Under $30 http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-decorate-your-christmas-tree-for-under-30 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-decorate-your-christmas-tree-for-under-30" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_christmas_tree_614873318.jpg" alt="Family decorating Christmas tree for under $30" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I moved into my first &quot;grown-up&quot; apartment after college (many moons ago, now), I wanted to do everything just right &mdash; including the holidays. But between travel expenses and a growing gift list, my holiday tree-trimming budget was tight.</p> <p>Without years' worth of accumulated ornaments, I had to get creative and keep my spending in check. Here's how I did it &mdash; and here are 10 ideas to decorate your own Christmas tree for under $30.</p> <h2>1. Take a Walk in the Woods</h2> <p>Potential ornaments are all around us &mdash; even outside. Pine cones are classic holiday decorating fare. Even better, they're sustainable, biodegradable, and entirely free.</p> <p>Add dimension to dried pine cones with flocking. Just dip the tips of the pinecone scales in glue and brush with white, silver, or gold flocking powder. Fresh out of flocking supplies? Leftover household or craft paint (applied very lightly) works too. When done, attach a twine or satin loop to the broadest end and hang!</p> <h2>2. Tie One On</h2> <p>Simple bows all in the same color add drama and elegance to a tree. Use them as ornaments in their own right or to fill in sparse areas between traditional ornaments. At this very moment, my local dollar store is selling a package of 18 small red &quot;velvet-like&quot; bows for $1.00.</p> <h2>3. Get Thrifty</h2> <p>You really can find anything at thrift stores &mdash; including Christmas tree ornaments. Oddly enough, many ornaments that find their way into secondhand stores are handmade (donated during estate liquidations or as part of a family's downsizing project, I suspect). Give these little one-of-a-kind treasures new life by making them part of your annual holiday tree. Most secondhand ornaments can be picked up for $. 25 to $. 50 apiece.</p> <h2>4. Pick Up Sticks</h2> <p>Have a yard full of leaves and twigs? Me too. Arrange five 3&quot;&ndash; 4&quot; long sticks into a rustic star shape, securing each of the five points with thin wire or twine. Use wire or twine to also reinforce the five areas where two sticks intersect/overlap. Nestle completed ornaments into the boughs of your tree or feature a large one as a tree-topper.</p> <h2>5. Frame It</h2> <p>Recycle tiny photo frames by turning them into unique ornaments. Insert vintage holiday scenes cut from old greeting cards or trim family snapshots down to size. Then, hot glue a loop of nylon ribbon on the back for easy hanging.</p> <h2>6. Fold It</h2> <p>Mastering basic origami forms like stars, hearts, cranes &mdash; and even Christmas trees &mdash; doesn't take much time, and it's an activity kids will gladly try with you. As I write this, there's a 1000-sheet set of origami paper for sale on eBay for $9.73 (shipping included). That's a lot of ornaments!</p> <p>Nestle finished creations in the boughs of your tree, but remember, fresh-cut trees can dry out quickly and pose a fire hazard. Use extra caution when combining paper ornaments with natural branches and hot holiday lights.</p> <h2>7. Uncap It</h2> <p>Don't toss out those bottle caps. Instead, arrange three into a snowman shape (concave sides up) and connect by hot gluing a single strand of ribbon the back. Paint the concave sides white then add frosty facial details with permanent marker or paint.</p> <h2>8. Unlock It</h2> <p>Though they're quickly getting snatched up by jewelry designers and collectors, vintage skeleton keys can be still be found at garage and estate sales for a dollar or two apiece. Add a unique look to your tree by spray painting the keys a glossy white and hanging with a bright red satin ribbon.</p> <h2>9. Break Out of the Mold</h2> <p>Small vintage aluminum baking molds can be had for less than $. 50 in most thrift stores. Collect a dozen or so in classic heart, leaf, and star shapes. Turn them into quaint tree ornaments by simply hot-gluing a loop of ribbon to the back of each.</p> <h2>10. Throw a Party</h2> <p>Why not crowdsource your tree decorating duties? Host a potluck style ornament party where guests exchange ornaments with one another. Keep the vibe lighthearted by encouraging homemade, secondhand, and comical contributions.</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/10-ways-to-decorate-your-christmas-tree-for-under-30">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/20-cheap-and-easy-diy-kitchen-improvements">20 Cheap and Easy DIY Kitchen Improvements</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/5-pretty-projects-for-pine-cones">5 Pretty Projects for Pine Cones</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/8-creative-ways-to-upcycle-used-baby-furniture">8 Creative Ways to Upcycle Used Baby Furniture</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/my-budget-challenge-2016-how-to-live-frugally-when-you-have-no-time">My Budget Challenge 2016: How to Live Frugally When You Have No Time</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/help-for-the-decoratively-hopeless-or-the-cheap-myscha-theriault-on-btr">Help for the Decoratively Hopeless (or the Cheap): Myscha Theriault on BTR</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living DIY christmas trees crafting decorating Holidays ornaments pine cones thrift stores Tue, 29 Nov 2016 12:00:14 +0000 Kentin Waits 1839212 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Things a Thanksgiving Turkey Teaches Us About Money http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-a-thanksgiving-turkey-teaches-us-about-money-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-a-thanksgiving-turkey-teaches-us-about-money-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-493115518.jpg" alt="we can learn a lot about money from the thanksgiving turkey" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's that time of year again, and many of us will indulge in the traditional Thanksgiving turkey feast with all the trimmings. As you're prepping the bird, and basting it, you may not consider that the humble Thanksgiving turkey has a few lessons to teach us about money. But, there are a number of ways this tasty bird can give us insights into the economy, and our own financial situations.</p> <h2>1. Your Chances of Winning the Lottery Are Very Slim</h2> <p>According to the National Turkey Federation, <a href="http://www.eatturkey.com/why-turkey/history">233.1 million turkeys were raised</a> in the USA in 2015. Roughly 46 million of those are eaten at Thanksgiving, with another 22 million at Christmas. And as you may be aware, once a year (since 1947) the President pardons one of these turkeys destined for the dinner table. The simple math there is that, as a turkey, you have a roughly one in 233 million chance to win the turkey lottery, and live a long, happy life. The lottery humans often partake in has similar odds. Actually, they're a little worse. If you play the <a href="http://www.lotteryusa.com/powerball/">Powerball</a>, the odds of winning the jackpot are approximately one in 292 million. Longer odds than the average turkey has of being spared. Remember that the next time you buy your ticket&hellip; your chances of winning are worse than being chosen as the turkey to be pardoned by the President.</p> <h2>2. You Can Lose Everything in an Instant</h2> <p>The Thanksgiving turkey is fed and housed from day one. Perhaps not in ideal conditions, but from the day it is born, it's given everything it needs to grow and become the plump turkey that most of us look forward to on Thanksgiving. Of course, for the turkey, it's not a happy ending. After months of daily feedings, just when it is at its biggest, the blade drops and it's all over.</p> <p>This is much like the stock market, the housing crash, our careers, and many other aspects of our lives. All too often, our assets are steadily rising, and when we are at our most confident, the rug is pulled out from under us. Stocks crash. House prices plummet. Jobs are eliminated, and people are left with a bleak future when it was looking very rosy just the day before. And in the blink of an eye, our fortunes have reversed, and we're in serious trouble. Like the Thanksgiving turkey, we can very easily spend most of the year blissfully unaware that doom is just around the corner.</p> <h2>3. Keep a Close Eye on Things</h2> <p>You know the story. You put the juicy bird in the oven, forget about it for a few hours, and then realize it's been way too long. You go back to the oven, and pull out a turkey with all the tenderness of a piece of stale beef jerky. The same rule applies to money. Watch it&hellip;carefully. Or pay a professional to do it for you. Check in on your bank accounts daily. You want to look not only at the balances, and any bills coming out, but also for any unusual debits. Quite often, compromised bank accounts will be tested with very small charges; usually under one dollar. If they go unnoticed, a large amount will be taken at a later date. You also need to keep an eye on your stocks and bonds, your savings, and your other assets and liabilities.</p> <h2>4. Preparation Is a Must</h2> <p>A few days before Thanksgiving, if you're smart, you'll brine your turkey. It's a simple enough procedure, and involves soaking the turkey for at least 24 hours in a solution of broth, salt, herbs, spices, and ice water. This preparation ensures a moist, tasty turkey after all those hours in the oven or the fryer.</p> <p>Just like the turkey, you need to prepare for the future. In the short term, look at your emergency fund. Is it enough? Do you even have one? Can you cut a few expenses out of your budget now to start building up that safety net? The more distant future, that requires preparation as well. What are you doing to plan for retirement? Do you have a 401K or IRA? Are you setting aside enough money now to grow? Preparing your finances for both short and long-term goals is something we all have to do.</p> <h2>5. When Supply Outpaces Demand, Prices Drop</h2> <p>You may think that the prices of turkeys go up in November, as this is the time most families want to buy one. Well, that couldn't be further from the truth. As the <em>NYTimes</em> illustrates, <a href="http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/20/turkey-economics-annotated/?_r=0">prices for turkeys nosedive in November</a> by a staggering amount. In fact, a Thanksgiving turkey is about 20% cheaper than a turkey sold in January. Why is that? The simple answer is that <a href="http://www.marottaonmoney.com/the-economics-of-a-thanksgiving-turkey/">supply during November is plentiful</a>. Turkeys can be frozen and kept in storage for up to two years. This stockpile of turkeys flood the market in November, and when you have a glut of anything, the prices drop. Not only that, but customers expect to pay less for turkey during Thanksgiving, and many stores sell turkeys at a loss (known as a loss leader) to bring you into the store and shop for other goods that have a decent profit margin.</p> <h2>6. You Can't Grow Your Future on a Weak Foundation</h2> <p>Modern turkeys have been bred and modified to create the &quot;perfect&quot; Thanksgiving turkey. But sadly, what is good for us as consumers is not good for the turkeys. They grow way too quickly, and as they have been bred to have large breasts, their flimsy legs often get crippled under the weight. This rather depressing fact is just as gloomy for your finances. You need a solid foundation, with slow, steady growth to succeed. You cannot create a healthy financial future if you are being crippled by debt, or are looking into &quot;get rich quick&quot; schemes that never, ever work the way they say they will.</p> <h2>7. Know Your Limits</h2> <p>How many of us bite off way more than we can chew at Thanksgiving? We load up the plate with turkey and gravy, wash it down with a glass or two of wine or cider, and spend two hours in a food coma on the sofa. Overindulgence and the Thanksgiving turkey go hand in hand. And while recovering from that is simply a case of sleeping it off, when we overindulge with our money, the consequences are much greater. By refusing to acknowledge our limits, we can quickly and easily end up with serious debts. Gambling and other addictions can lead us into ruin. And the simple case of &quot;my eyes being bigger than my belly&quot; can lead to food shopping sprees that result in fridges and pantries full of food that will expire before we get the chance to use them. Like the Thanksgiving feast, we should all take caution with what we put onto our plates.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-a-thanksgiving-turkey-teaches-us-about-money-0">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/throwback-thursday-58-best-thanksgiving-hacks-ever">Throwback Thursday: 58 Best Thanksgiving Hacks Ever</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/5-creative-simple-frugal-recipes-for-leftover-turkey">5 Creative, Simple, and Frugal Recipes for Leftover Turkey</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-things-youll-waste-money-on-this-thanksgiving">10 Things You&#039;ll Waste Money on This Thanksgiving</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/what-booze-teaches-us-about-money">What Booze Teaches Us About Money</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-delicious-dishes-made-better-with-salsa">15 Delicious Dishes Made Better With Salsa</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Food and Drink budgeting Holidays money lessons Thanksgiving thanksgiving feast thanksgiving turkey turkey day Thu, 24 Nov 2016 11:00:06 +0000 Paul Michael 1839208 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/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</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/13-holiday-season-costs-everyone-always-forgets-about">13 Holiday-Season Costs Everyone Always Forgets About</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/the-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016">The Big List of Money-Saving Coupon Codes for Halloween 2016</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-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/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/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you">People Who Love Christmas Do These 9 Things — Do You?</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/14-frugal-christmas-decorating-hacks">14 Frugal Christmas Decorating Hacks</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do</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-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/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-2 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-3 views-row-odd"> <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> <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-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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</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 Turo 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-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/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/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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-money-moves-to-make-before-the-holiday-season-begins">9 Smart Money Moves to Make Before the Holiday Season Begins</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> 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 Best Money Tips: Don't Buy These 15 Things During the Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-dont-buy-these-15-things-during-the-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-dont-buy-these-15-things-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/woman_christmas_shopping_80252227.jpg" alt="Women not buying these things during the holidays" 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 the worst things to buy during the holidays, travel tips for germaphobes, and simple ways to celebrate Veteran&rsquo;s Day.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/spending/T065-S001-15-worst-things-to-buy-during-the-holidays/index.html">15 Worst Things to Buy During the Holidays</a> &mdash; Gift cards are easy when you're stumped for ideas, but if you want a real deal, wait until after the holidays when people sell unwanted gift cards at a discount. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Stay-Clean-While-Traveling-42668875?stream_view=1#photo-42680680">If You Love to Travel but Hate Germs, Here Are Some Tips For Your Next Trip</a> &mdash; Bring along a pack of wet wipes to disinfect surfaces that people often handle. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/8-simple-ways-to-celebrate-veterans-day">8 Simple Ways to Celebrate Veteran's Day</a> &mdash; Take your family to a Veteran's Day event, whether it's a big parade of a town hall ceremony, and pay tribute to American veterans. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2016/11/08/household-budgets-for-beginners/">Household Budgets for Beginners: Simple Tips for Success</a> &mdash; Before you set a budget, track your spending for a month so you know exactly where your money is going. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/how-to-handle-your-investments-when-you-have-short-term-market-fear/">How to Handle Your Investments When You Have Short Term Market Fear</a> &mdash; When you're focusing on the short term, it's easy to make investment decisions based on fear. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="https://due.com/blog/4-tips-running-business-one/">4 Tips For Running a Business of One</a> &mdash; There's always something that needs to be done, but what do you need to do NOW? Prioritize your tasks and projects so you don't get distracted from the big picture. [Due]</p> <p><a href="https://moneystrands.com/2016/11/09/blogtoxicmoneyhabitstoquit/">Five Toxic Money Habits You Need To Quit</a> &mdash; Life is unpredictable and unexpected expenses can send your budget over a cliff. That's why it's important to save for emergencies even when things are looking good. [Money Strands]</p> <p><a href="http://www.artofmanliness.com/2016/11/09/use-body-language-create-dynamite-first-impression/?">How to Use Body Language to Create a Dynamite First Impression</a> &mdash; Watch what you do with your hands. Open palms convey honesty, trustworthiness, and openness. [The Art of Manliness]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/5-best-career-tips-young-people/">5 Best Career Tips for Young People</a> &mdash; Take risks early and often. Even if things don't pan out the way you wanted them to, you'll gain valuable lessons and experience. [Change Your Thoughts]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifed.com/15-breakfast-foods-you-eat-that-can-ruin-your-day">15 Breakfast Foods You Eat That Can Ruin Your Day</a> &mdash; Cereal is a popular breakfast item, but choose wisely! Cereals high in carbohydrates and sugar and low in fiber can leave you with midmorning cravings and moodiness. [Life'd]</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-dont-buy-these-15-things-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/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> <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/8-ways-to-earn-extra-income-while-christmas-shopping">8 Ways to Earn Extra Income While 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/25-great-gifts-for-5-or-less">25 Great Gifts for $5 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping best money tips Holidays Thu, 10 Nov 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Amy Lu 1830269 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things You'll Waste Money on This Thanksgiving http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-youll-waste-money-on-this-thanksgiving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-youll-waste-money-on-this-thanksgiving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_29382656_XXXLARGE.jpg" alt="don&#039;t waste money on these things this thanksgiving" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Serving a Thanksgiving feast on a budget is like performing a magic trick. It takes a lot of money to buy the large quantities of food to fill the bellies of all your Turkey Day guests. But it helps to know what people usually end up wasting money on, before forming your feast menu. If you're the host, here are 10 ways to stay on track and not blow your Thanksgiving grocery budget.</p> <h2>1. Buying Expensive Centerpieces</h2> <p>Have you priced formal <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-save-on-your-thanksgiving-celebrations">floral Thanksgiving centerpieces</a>, lately? Your basic cornucopia number runs around $50. Ouch! No need to engage a florist. Try your own hand at tablescaping. Here are <a href="http://www.hgtv.com/design/make-and-celebrate/entertaining/30-thanksgiving-centerpieces-pictures">simple, beautiful ideas</a> using items you may already own, or that are easily found outdoors.</p> <h2>2. Serving Food Nobody Really Likes</h2> <p>Yes, Aunt Peggy's wiggly molded red jello may be traditional, but does anyone really <em>like</em> it? Take a hard look at your menu. It may be time ax the dishes you think you <em>ought</em> to make in favor of ones that people actually enjoy. Why waste time, money, and energy on food that is going to sit in the fridge for weeks?</p> <h2>3. Making Too Much Food</h2> <p>One of my grandmothers always worried about not having everyone's favorites, so she made it all. We really did not need both a turkey and a ham, or sweet potatoes fixed two ways. Even when everyone took leftovers home, her refrigerator was still difficult to close. Learn from my grandma: Stop overspending and also cut back on your food waste.</p> <h2>4. Only Buying Name Brands</h2> <p>Per pound, turkey is pretty inexpensive, unless you decide you need a pasture-raised one, which will cost you more. Big-box stores now offer organic products, too, so do your homework before you buy.</p> <h2>5. Not Asking for Help</h2> <p>One of the inevitable questions from your guests will be, &quot;What can I bring?&quot; Take them up on that! Hate peeling potatoes? Ask someone to bring the mashed potatoes. My mother couldn't make gravy without lumps, so she'd ask a friend to bring that. My daughter, who doesn't cook, can be depended upon to bring wine. There is nothing wrong with taking people up on their offers of help, and it will keep your costs down.</p> <h2>6. Serving Elaborate Hors d'Oeuvres</h2> <p>Spending loads of time on dinner? There's not much sense in your guests filling up on snacks ahead of time, and ruining their appetites. Instead of yet another hot appetizer that takes up space in the oven, try serving some inexpensive raw vegetables and <a href="http://markbittman.com/roasted-nuts-so-easy-so-good/">spicy nuts</a> that you can make ahead of time.</p> <h2>7. Using Fancy China</h2> <p>As someone who has multiple sets of china, I'm going to give you the straight scoop: I rarely use it. While I found the pretty flowers and silver bands on the rims just enchanting at age 20, now, I wish I had registered for a plain, good quality pattern. White, or off-white, is a lot more versatile, and a good quality plate is more useful than a highly decorative one.</p> <h2>8. Making Multiple Trips to the Store</h2> <p>Five years, ago, I found myself making a third trip to the supermarket when I realized I only had one type of cranberry sauce. What a waste of gas! How to avoid this? Make a list. Get out each and every recipe and make sure you either have the ingredient on hand, or that it is on your shopping list.</p> <h2>9. Creating Elaborate Place-Settings</h2> <p>I'm all for proper use of silverware, but you really don't need to go out and buy it all. It's no fun for my guests if they have anxiety about which fork to use first, or they don't know which bread plate is theirs. Here are some excellent photos and tips about <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-set-the-table-properly-206075">which silverware to put where</a>, ensuring that your guests don't stress.</p> <h2>10. Presenting Over-the-Top House Decor</h2> <p>Guests want to feel relaxed, welcomed, and comfortable. If you hang a wreath on your door, fine. But piles of pumpkins, huge hurricanes with candles, or hay bales at the front door are really unnecessary, and the cost adds up. What are you going to do with all this decor when Thanksgiving is over? Think ahead, and only buy the stuff you need and will use again.</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/10-things-youll-waste-money-on-this-thanksgiving">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/7-things-a-thanksgiving-turkey-teaches-us-about-money-0">7 Things a Thanksgiving Turkey Teaches Us About Money</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/8-ways-to-buy-organic-and-still-be-frugal">8 Ways to Buy Organic and Still Be Frugal</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/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars</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/25-major-retailers-that-give-employees-time-off-for-thanksgiving">25 Major Retailers That Give Employees Time Off for Thanksgiving</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/the-12-best-frozen-food-values">The 12 Best Frozen Food Values</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping black friday Cooking dinner party food shopping groceries Holidays host Thanksgiving thanksgiving dinner turkey turkey day Wed, 09 Nov 2016 10:30:29 +0000 Marla Walters 1829423 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Really Expensive Places to Spend Your Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/4-really-expensive-places-to-spend-your-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-really-expensive-places-to-spend-your-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beach_christmas_snowman_48436354.jpg" alt="Finding expensive places to spend your holidays" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With Christmas Day falling on a Sunday this year, most workers will get at least a three-day weekend. Many companies even shut down for the entire week from Christmas to Jan. 2, providing as many as 10 days off in a row. That makes this a better year than most to plan a holiday getaway.</p> <p>Unfortunately, you may not be the only one with that idea. Demand for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hotel-room-booking-tools-every-frugal-traveler-should-know">vacation rentals</a> and experiences during the holiday week drives prices up. And sure, you could find relative bargains in all the popular destinations, but just for fun, let's look at what it would cost to pass the holidays in the grandest of styles at the merriest of destinations.</p> <h2>1. Manhattan</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/manhattan_new_york_31052676.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>What could feel more like a classic American holiday than spending it in the city of <em>Miracle on 34th Street</em>, <em>Elf</em>, and <em>Scrooged</em>? If you spent Christmas week at the Ritz-Carlton on Central Park, you could walk to the Wollman Rink and to 5th Avenue to admire the shop windows, and stroll the Union Square Holiday Market. You could exchange gifts under the Ritz's gorgeous lobby tree.</p> <h3>What'll It Cost You?</h3> <p>For a week, more than $32,000. A <a href="http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/new-york/central-park/rooms-suites/premiere-suite">Premier Park Suite</a> at the Ritz-Carlton is $4,500 a night. Ice skating for four at the Wollman Rink is $100. Four orchestra tickets to the <a href="http://www.nyc.com/broadway_tickets/radio_city_christmas_spectacular.75774/">Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular</a> are $660. Four tickets to <a href="http://www.nyc.com/broadway_tickets/holiday_inn_the_new_irving_berlin_musical.1314383/">Holiday Inn</a> on Broadway are $800. A <a href="http://www.centralpark.com/guide/activities/horse-drawn-carriages.html">carriage ride</a> through Central Park is $140. Two deluxe photo packages at <a href="http://macys.com/santaland">Macy's Santaland</a> are $120. For shopping, restaurants, taxis, and entertainment? The sky's the limit.</p> <h2>2. Disney World</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/disney_world_florida76576235.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Any time that kids are out of school is a popular time to go to Disney World, sending both the price of lodging there and wait times through the roof. Special <a href="https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/magic-kingdom/mickeys-very-merry-christmas-party/">holiday shows, parties, and decorations</a> abound as Disney strives to present the happiest holidays, well, on earth.</p> <h3>What'll It Cost You?</h3> <p>More than $34,000. To stay in a Park View deluxe suite the Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort during the holiday week is <a href="https://reservations.fourseasons.com/choose-your-room?hotelCode=ORL354&amp;checkIn=2016-12-23&amp;checkOut=2016-12-30&amp;adults=2&amp;children=2&amp;promoCode=&amp;ratePlanCode=&amp;roomAmadeusCode=&amp;_charset_=UTF-8">$3,950 a night</a>. Add $450 for the <a href="http://disneyworld.disneyfloralandgifts.com/product/dreamingofadisneychristmaskit.do">Dreaming of a Disney Holiday</a> room package, which fills your suite with gifts and snacks from Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto. Five-day park hopper tickets for a family of four run about $1,700, and tickets to Mickey's Very merry Christmas Party add another $400. Because of the holiday crowds, consider engaging a <a href="https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/vip-tour-services/">VIP Tour Guide</a> for at least one day, at a cost of $3,600 for six hours, so you can skip lines and zip from park to park through secret entrances.</p> <h2>3. Courcheval 1850, France</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/skiing_mountains_snow_12320623.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>You could jet off to Vail for a holiday in powder, but why limit yourself when you could go to the Alps and perhaps find yourself hot-dogging alongside royalty?</p> <h3>What'll It Cost You?</h3> <p>More than $54,000. A five-bedroom chalet with a <em>private ski lift</em> at Courcheval 1850 goes for about <a href="http://www.lapogeecourchevel.com/eng/chalets/chalet-l_amarante/">$7,600 a night</a> during Christmas week. (If that's not big enough, there's a $12,000-a-night place there that sleeps 12 and comes with its own butler. Haven't you always wanted a butler?) Five days of skiing there for a family of four will be just over $1,000, which is actually quite reasonable.</p> <h2>4. Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/man_snorkel_ocean_81051433.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Not everyone dreams of a white Christmas. Some people dream of white caps hitting the shore as they sip cocktails out of pineapples and wear leis. For that kind of person, who is also independently wealthy or has a ton of SPG loyalty points, a stay at the Princeville St. Regis would be the perfect holiday sojourn. You can zip line and hike on the resort's 2,500 private acres, kayak the Hanalei River, swim in the pool and the ocean, and <a href="http://www.stregisprinceville.com/pdf/StRegisSnorkelandDiveMap.pdf">snorkel or dive</a> without leaving the resort.</p> <h3>What'll It Cost You?</h3> <p>More than $45,000. The 1,800 square foot Presidential Suite (yes, it comes with a personal butler) is just over $6,000 a night. Playing 18 holes on the resort golf course is $200 per guest. A 90-minute Bespoke Oceanside Couples Massage is $700. Stand-up paddleboard rentals are $160 per person for two days.</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%2F4-really-expensive-places-to-spend-your-holidays&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%20Really%20Expensive%20Places%20to%20Spend%20Your%20Holidays.jpg&amp;description=4%20Really%20Expensive%20Places%20to%20Spend%20Your%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/u5180/4%20Really%20Expensive%20Places%20to%20Spend%20Your%20Holidays.jpg" alt="4 Really Expensive Places to Spend Your 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/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-really-expensive-places-to-spend-your-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/8-frugal-destinations-for-a-dreamy-winter-getaway">8 Frugal Destinations for a Dreamy Winter Getaway</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-ways-to-save-the-most-during-a-hawaii-vacation">15 Ways to Save the Most During a Hawaii Vacation</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-luxe-travel-destinations-that-are-cheaper-in-winter">6 Luxe Travel Destinations That Are Cheaper in Winter</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/the-7-worst-travel-values">The 7 Worst Travel Values</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/18-diy-christmas-ornaments-that-are-better-than-store-bought">18 DIY Christmas Ornaments That Are Better Than Store Bought</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel alps Christmas destinations disney world expensive france hawaii Holidays manhattan new years new york city peak season vacation Tue, 08 Nov 2016 10:30:26 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1827230 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Financial Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season http://www.wisebread.com/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_wrapped_gift_77878153.jpg" alt="Woman giving financial gifts to herself this holiday season" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The holiday shopping season is around the corner. And while the average holiday shopper will dole out more than $800 for gifts, about half will also spend an average of $132 on non-gift items for themselves. Hey &mdash; there's nothing wrong with treating yourself, especially when discounts are steep and shopping centers are extra cheery.</p> <p>But, you might want to consider putting that buck thirty toward something more substantial, such as your fiscal health. Read on for our guide to the top financial gifts you should consider giving yourself this holiday season. We promise, there will be no buyers remorse involved.</p> <h2>1. Boost Your Retirement Fund Contribution</h2> <p>The best time to start investing is now. Case in point: If you start maxing out your IRA contributions at age 25, you will have saved $1.6 million by the time you're 70. But if you were to start at 35, you'd save about half that sum. So whatever the form of your retirement savings, be it IRA, 401K, or 403(b), consider boosting your contribution this holiday season. Even a 1% increase can go a long way to making your golden years more comfortable.</p> <h2>2. Pay Down Your Debt</h2> <p>When it comes to personal debt, even $100 can make a sizable dent. Without a doubt, every little bit counts. Use a <a href="https://www.calcxml.com/calculators/how-long-will-it-take-to-pay-off-my-credit-card">minimum payment calculator</a> to determine just how long it will take your to pay down your credit card debt &mdash; and precisely how much mileage that $100 can get you.</p> <h2>3. Reassess Your Investments</h2> <p>How are your investments faring? Are you on track to meet your earnings expectations? Or do you have too much riskily tied up in a single company's stock? Gift yourself an hour spent reassessing your investments. Rid yourself of risk you can't shoulder and sour gambles.</p> <h2>4. Invest in Professional Advice</h2> <p>In the Internet age, getting good investment advice is easy and affordable. <a href="https://www.wealthfront.com">Wealthfront</a>, which boasts a stable of world-class financial experts that excels in making small money grow, offers free accounts totaling $10,000 or less. And you can open an account with <a href="https://www.betterment.com/">Betterment</a> even if you have no money.</p> <h2>5. Deposit an Extra $100 Into Your Savings Account</h2> <p>It's simple enough: Rather than buy yourself a couple of new sweaters, take that holiday cash and stow it away as savings. And if you think $100 won't make much difference, think again: If you were to sack away an extra $100 quarterly for the next 10 years, you've have an extra $4,000 in your savings account. That's more than the average down payment for a new car.</p> <h2>6. Boost Your Emergency Fund</h2> <p>It's smart to have funds stowed away for the kinds of emergencies life sometimes throws at us. Natural disaster. Illness. Job loss. If you've got an emergency fund, consider funneling some more funds into it. And if you don't, consider setting one up, even if you inaugurate it with a modest $100 investment. It's far better to be prepared than dumbstruck by a bad set of circumstances.</p> <h2>7. Draft a Financial Plan</h2> <p>A third of Americans have taken no steps <a href="https://www.northwesternmutual.com/about-us/studies/planning-and-progress-2015-study">toward financial planning</a>. If you don't have a plan, invest a day to join yourself among the ranks of the minority of Americans who do. It can be as simple as stating your financial priorities and then mapping out what you need to do to achieve them. Yes, it's drudge work. But you stand to benefit greatly by slogging through.</p> <h2>8. Purchase a Book on Finance</h2> <p>Whether it's the stock market or saving for retirement or paying down debt, most of us have a weak spot in our financial literacy. Why not help yourself close that gap by purchasing a book on your weakest link? For inspiration, check out our list of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-classic-personal-finance-books-you-must-read">classic personal finance books</a>.</p> <h2>9. Write a Will</h2> <p>The hardest part about will-writing is getting yourself to actually sit down and write it. No one wants to rationalize their own death by taking time out of their life to plan for it. Nonetheless, it's an important tool that can help to ensure that your property and wishes are carried out according to your liking when you're no longer around to dictate. If your finances are uncomplicated, consider creating an online will, which is perhaps the quickest and easiest way to complete the process.</p> <h2>10. Review Your Credit Score</h2> <p>It costs nothing to check your credit score, but the price of ignoring it can be huge. Your credit score determines critical stuff such as your insurance premium rate and your ability to get a loan. If you're unfamiliar with your credit score, it's probably a good idea to take a pause and get acquainted with it &mdash; and then commit to reviewing it annually. (Be on the lookout for any errors, which could be preventing you from getting lower rates).</p> <h2>11. Donate to Charity</h2> <p>It pays to help others in need. Not only can making a charitable donation give you the feel-good fuzzies, it can also <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/eight-tips-for-deducting-charitable-contributions">lower your tax bill</a>. Just remember to keep good records.</p> <h2>12. Cash in on Your Credit Card Rewards</h2> <p>Airline miles, hotel rewards, and cash are just a few of the amazing incentives available to those who swipe responsibly. But if you don't use 'em, you lose 'em, so take a moment to assess what rewards you've got, when they expire, and whether now's a good time to cash in. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you?ref=internal">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You</a>)</p> <h2>13. Review Your Account Statements</h2> <p>Remember all those account statements you've been filing away? Now's the time to actually read and analyze the charges. A bogus charge is a tried and true sign of identity theft, so it'll serve you well to review all your statements thoroughly. Painstaking though it may be, giving your financial records a good read affords you the opportunity to correct any improper service fees that may have been mistakenly docked from your account. If you find a faulty charge, you can get reimbursed from your bank or credit card company. If you don't, then you can rest assured that all is in order. Think of it as a game with no chance to lose.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unique-ways-to-save-money-in-december">Unique Ways to Save Money in December</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/many-happy-returns-5-tips-for-getting-what-you-really-want-this-holiday">Many Happy Returns: 5 Tips for Getting What You Really Want This Holiday</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/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</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-money-goals-you-can-still-reach-by-2017">13 Money Goals You Can Still Reach by 2017</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance bills charity Christmas emergency funds estate planning gifts Holidays investments paying debt saving money Mon, 07 Nov 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1827215 at http://www.wisebread.com Are You Spending Too Much on Halloween This Year? http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-spending-too-much-on-halloween-this-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-spending-too-much-on-halloween-this-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dog_halloween_costume_96975833.jpg" alt="Wondering if you&#039;re spending too much on Halloween this year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), more than 171 million Americans will celebrate Halloween this year at a <a href="https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/halloween-spending-reach-84-billion-highest-survey-history">total cost of about $8.4 billion</a> &mdash; an all-time high.</p> <p>Broken down, the price tag for each person is estimated to be an average of $82.93, up from last year's $74.34. But we all know that number goes right out the window if you're a fright-night fanatic. At least mine does &mdash; on candy and costume and festivities alone. Tack on decorations, greeting cards, and pet costumes to the list (the latter of which has become BIG business to the tune of $350 million a year), and you can easily spend $100 to $200 on Halloween &mdash; a hefty price tag for what's generally considered to be a &quot;kid&quot; holiday.</p> <p>Ward off such wickedness this October 31 by checking your receipts for hidden spending gremlins.</p> <h2>1. Decorations</h2> <p>The National Retail Federation found that 70% of Halloween shoppers plan to purchase decorations, spending $2.4 billion, while 49% &mdash; likely many of the same respondents &mdash; say they'll decorate their homes or yards. This certainly can become problematic if you're buying new, full-price decorations to add to your collection every year, but there are ways to lessen the cost.</p> <p>My method, for instance, is to buy new items postseason. I never purchase any holiday decorations, Halloween or otherwise, while the season is in full swing. Even if discounts are available (Target reels you in with discounts throughout the season on its Cartwheel app, for example), you'll pay a fraction of even those discounted prices if you wait until November 1 or a couple days after to snag what's left of the haul. Granted, you may not find high-end items like yard inflatables or animatronic monsters, but I'm usually able to add a few smaller decorations to my overall Halloween aesthetic. Outdoor holiday lights and party supplies also are in abundance on clearance the day after.</p> <h2>2. Greeting Cards</h2> <p>A whopping $390 million is spent on Halloween greeting cards every year, purchased by 35.4% of Halloween shoppers. This might not makes sense to some of you, but anybody who has children in their lives &mdash; specifically nieces, nephews, and grandchildren &mdash; will recognize how Hallmark and American Greetings continue to make a killing (mostly because of the guilt we feel for not actually being present to celebrate with them), especially when you consider that the average cost of greeting cards hovers around $5. In fact, I've known people who have spent upward of $18 on a single fancy greeting card; they've been drinking too much witches' brew, for sure.</p> <p>I cut costs on greeting cards for my own nephews by either buying them a year in advance like I do decorations &mdash; and I've walked away with cards at a whopping 90% off the day after Halloween &mdash; or forgoing the card altogether. Because based on my own personal experience, I can absolutely confirm that children don't care about the card whatsoever when there's also candy in the package. Skip it and it'll never be missed.</p> <h2>3. Candy</h2> <p>Okay, now we're getting into serious Halloween territory. Candy &mdash; the crux of the entire bloody celebration &mdash; rakes in an incredible $2.5 billion in September and October alone, with 94.3% of consumers surveyed by the NRF breaking out their wallets for the sugary-sweet treats.</p> <p>And it's not cheap. The average person will spend $24.43 on candy this year, which represents a big chunk of the total Halloween spend average of $82.93. It's easy to see how it gets there though. Premium chocolate brands, like Hershey's, Mars, M &amp; M's, and Reese's, are priced between $10 and $12 per large bag featuring kids/snack size servings. I've seen the per-pound cost of some of these bags between $5 and $7, which is rather expensive for run-of-the-mill chocolate.</p> <p>But therein lies your savings tip: Before I purchase any bag of candy, I compare the number of pieces in the bag/how much the bag weighs with the price-per-pound designation listed on the price tag on the store shelf. Most of them have these. While larger bags may seem like the best value, often the smaller bags are more economical, comparatively.</p> <p>Let's not forget, either, that you're paying for packaging and holiday marketing when you buy holiday food/candy &mdash; the brands factor in the cost of unsold post-holiday items into the cost of the bag you're buying &mdash; which means that you'll save even more if you purchase the everyday bags in the regular candy aisle opposed to those in the seasonal food section. Of course, you can reduce the price even further with app savings and coupons.</p> <h2>4. Human Costumes</h2> <p>Outside of candy, the other major Halloween expense is costumes, which takes up the biggest portion of the holiday-spending pie at $3.1 billion.</p> <p>When it comes to costumes, we're already fairly savvy: 35% of costume shoppers search for the perfect outfit online, where you can find great costumes at reasonable or even discounted prices, while 29% shop in store, likely at pop-up shops like <a href="http://www.spirithalloween.com/">Spirit Halloween Superstores</a>. (I receive discounts galore at Halloween by being on their email list.)</p> <p>What's even more heartening from a savings standpoint is that many of us rely on social media (34%), friend and family (19%), pop culture (16%), and print media (14%) for costume ideas, the pieces for which we look for in our own closets or thrift stores.</p> <p>Again, I've saved a bundle picking up full costumes, odds and ends, and accessories after the holiday; Spirit goes out of business for the year, end of day November 1, but you can snag tons of great stuff that day. I keep all those items in a box to piece meal a costume together the next year.</p> <p>Another smart idea is to swap costumes and accessories among friends. Somebody in your circle may have just what you're looking for &mdash; Facebook is an excellent way to find out &mdash; so you don't have to shell out for one-use-only items.</p> <h2>5. Pet Costumes</h2> <p>We love our pets. So much so that 20 million of us are willing to fork over a combined $350 million to dress up our furbabies as waggy-tailed ghouls and goblins.</p> <p>I admit that I've dressed up my own dog for a celebration at the dog park or for a neighborhood parade, but I'll let you in on a little secret: He doesn't like it one bit. And it stands to reason that yours probably doesn't either. Which is why I don't do it anymore.</p> <p>Even a discounted costume is a waste, in my opinion, because if the dog doesn't destroy it trying to get it off, it'll get filthy when your pet rolls around in the dirt and other dogs' poop in hopes of sending you a message to stop humiliating it in public. Thus, if you're looking to shave real money off your Halloween expenditures this year, cut out the pet costume altogether (or reuse the filthy one). No sleep will be lost, least of all by your slobbery companion.</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/are-you-spending-too-much-on-halloween-this-year">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-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016">The Big List of Money-Saving Coupon Codes for Halloween 2016</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/3-smart-ways-to-save-on-fathers-day">3 Smart Ways to Save on Father&#039;s Day</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-85-best-ways-to-save-on-halloween-this-year">Flashback Friday: 85 Best Ways to Save on Halloween This Year</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/easy-ways-to-save-on-7-everyday-buys">Easy Ways to Save on 7 Everyday Buys</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> Entertainment Shopping budgeting candy costumes decorations Halloween Holidays pets saving money spending Mon, 17 Oct 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1813149 at http://www.wisebread.com