Expert Personal Finance Tips for Holiday Shoppers

‘Tis the season to be merry.. ho, ho ho! But maybe, not so merry for your pocket? With Christmas round the corner, there are so many gifts to be given, so many things to be bought; If you’re among the worried lot, and want to know how you can shop, gift, and yet save, read on:

1. Make a list:

Start with the basics. Rather than scratching your head at the store and thinking who you’ve left out, do that at your dinner table, before you step out. Once you’ve identified the people, decide how much you can spend on a gift for each person. And stick to the list. This way you will avoid overspending when you are out shopping.
2. Be tech wise:
Online marketers keep track of your spending habits through cookies, so hide them. When objects of your desire keep flashing on the screen every time you’re watching a You Tube video, it will be hard to resist reaching for your wallet. An increasing number of companies are successfully using this method to target online consumers with ads of products they think they are interested in. you can install free software like Do Not Track Plus or similar.

3. Compare prices:

now you have so many apps available even for Android, iOS BB and WP8 devices that allow you to compare prices between retailers for the same products. These apps usually have hundreds of sellers in their databases and when you enter a product, it compares the prices offered by the sellers and lists the best price. You can even specify what price you are willing to pay, and you will be notified if any seller is offering it at that price.

4. Coupon Mania:

Make use of coupons. You can save around $100 with just an hour of couponing! There are apps that allow you to collect all your coupons, reward cards, gift cards and so in one place on your Smartphone. At check out, these can be redeemed against your purchases.

5. Be card wise:

If you’re a smart shopper, it is better to use credit cards as you have better protection against ID theft and fraud; but if you’re an impulsive shopper, it would be a better idea to use cash or your debit card. If you have several credit cards, it is better to use the one with the highest credit limits; this way the debt ratio will be at a manageable level. Make sure that you spend only what you feel you can pay off before the next summer arrives. Adding to your piling credit card debt will not help you any. Avoid signing up for Store cards that offer discounts on products but punitive interest rates and low credit limits.

6. Keep your receipts:

It’s easy enough to lose receipts, so make sure you keep a box or an envelope especially for storing your receipts. If you have a Smartphone, create an account with or a similar site. Take pictures of the receipts and store. When they are nearing expiry, you will be alerted. In case you need to return anything after the holidays, you will have easy access to your receipts!

7. Bargain Shopping:

Look at local thrift shops that sell great stuff that’s been used for a short time, and show no signs of wear. You will be surprised at the amazing stuff you can pick up from such places.

8. Many stores offer incredible discounts on products in the last week before Christmas. Especially household stuff like linens and decorative items.

9. Shop when you’re waiting in line:

Long queues at stores are inevitable in the holiday season. Browse deals on your Smartphone and snap up deals offered at specific times (if you’re lucky you can get 90% off) by online sellers.

10. Sell your unwanted gift cards at sites like or
, and buy those you need; these sites have cards from reputed sellers like Macy’s, Sears and Home Depot.

This is a guest post by Ethan Millers of, a site that offers savings and current information on comcast cable and comcast internet, as well as other services.