Category Archives for "Holiday Money Saving Tips"

Do You Know How to Make a Budget for Holiday Giving?

Learn how to make a budget for holiday giving that won’t bury you in debt.

Budget for Holiday GivingThe holidays are upon us, and for many people that means learning how to make a budget for gift giving that won’t break the bank. We all love being generous during times of celebration, but overdoing it at the holidays could cripple your finances for the rest of the year. Figure out the best way to prevent over-gifting, as well as easy ways to keep yourself on track.

Follow these four steps to create a stress-free holiday gift giving budget:

1. Be honest about your holiday gift giving priorities.

How important are the holidays to you? While most people take great pride from giving presents to people, the holidays aren’t the only time of year when that happens. If birthdays, for instance, are more important to you, keep that in mind while creating your budget.

2. Decide how much you will spend on holiday gifts.

If you’re a guestimator when it comes to your gift budget, you’ll be an overspender too. People are just too optimistic with how they plan to spend their money. Accuracy is the essential step in creating a budget that works. Financial experts often suggest limiting gift-giving expenses to 20 percent of your monthly budget, roughly 1 ½ percent of your yearly take-home salary. Unfortunately, that can leave your resources pinched.

In order to help you feel satisfied after the holidays are all said and done, create a list of recipients in order of importance. Assign each of those recipients an estimated dollar amount. At this point, your budget is still fluid and open to changes, but this helps provide you with a realistic framework for how much money you have to spend and how it will be distributed. It also helps prevent those spontaneous, often insignificant purchases capable of quickly draining your budget.

3. Get some sort of holiday gift wish list before you shop.

Nothing hurts quite so much as buying a big gift only to have it go unappreciated. It delivers a sting of rejection, but ultimately, this is something you can avoid with some investigative work. If you think asking someone what they want directly takes the fun out of things, ask them instead for a list of three or four possibilities, in order of importance. This is the perfect time to mention you’re on a budget, but will try to get something they’ll like. Someone on your list being difficult? Ask them what they’ve been excited about lately? Gift ideas will come to light.

Also, don’t forget that certain gifts will require accessories to put to best use. Digital cameras will need memory cards. Video game systems may need extra controllers, headsets or games. When creating your detailed budget, make sure to include these items. If ignored, they could add up quickly enough to cause problems.

4. Set a holiday budget for each person on your list.

This is where plans really start to take shape. Starting with the most important person on your list, begin to price what they’d like for the holidays. According to PC Magazine, we have the tech resources now to make this incredibly easy. Head to online sites like PriceGrabber.com to find where an item is being sold – on and offline – at the lowest price. Apps like RedLaser and ShopSavvy allow you to input or scan the barcode of an item to receive information on where it’s priced lowest for sale. You can also set up alerts when items reach a target low.

This isn’t the time to try to find an item at the absolute best price to make an immediate purchase. Rather, you want to establish a baseline for your budget. Allocate a maximum purchase amount to each recipient based on items of interest.

You may face some hard decisions. For instance, you may discover you don’t have enough money to buy a gift for everyone on your list. Discovering these things before you go to the store helps you make alternative plans, and save your money for where it’s really needed.

It can take time and practice to learn how to make a budget for gift giving. If you need a bit of wiggle room, a title pawn can help. Call or visit your nearest Title Tree store to find out whether you qualify.

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How to Stretch Your Grocery Budget, Even If You’re Hosting Thanksgiving

Know how to stretch your grocery budget when you’re feeding a holiday crowd?

Stretch Your Grocery BudgetLearn how to stretch your grocery budget while you’re creating a Thanksgiving feast. With just a few tweaks, you’ll be able to cover all the basics and still walk away with money in the bank. Title Tree can help! Take advantage of a few tried-and-true methods for big meal management.

Spend the least possible on a satisfying holiday spread with these simple tips:

Get Organized and Save Money on Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Create a formal dinner plan for what you’ll be serving. Choose foods known for being delicious, filling and low-cost. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole and candied yams are all affordable favorites. If guests offer to add to the meal, make sure you coordinate what they bring, so everyone’s effort is put to its best use. Afraid that someone will be unreliable? Relegate them to dessert items or garnish.

Save Money on Your Thanksgiving Turkey

According to AllRecipes.com, nearly half of your Thanksgiving dinner budget is normally spent solely on your turkey. You can save big by purchasing a frozen bird. Stick to your local grocery store’s brand, and try to cash in on coupons. Some chefs shy away from frozen turkeys because they’re unsure of the best thawing methods. Just make sure you set aside an hour of refrigerator time for every five pounds of frozen meat you have to thaw, and you’ll have everything ready in time.

Create a Co-Op, Spend Less at Thanksgiving

You can save a bundle on staples like butter, sugar and eggs when you buy them in bulk. Best yet? These are ingredients every household needs during the holidays, so creating buying co-ops among friends is simple enough. Figure out how much you’ll roughly need and ask a fellow Thanksgiving host (or two) to go halfsies.

Find Thanksgiving Grocery Sales

Weekly specials are a popular way for grocery stores to bring in regular shoppers. Take advantage of these deals when stocking up for big holiday dinners. Just don’t take the bait. Once you’ve gotten your fill of sales items, head to your regular grocery spot to buy the rest of your groceries. Several sites online, like CouponMom.com, keep pricebooks for major chains in all regions so you always know you’re buying meal items at the lowest cost.

Forget Pre-Made Thanksgiving Food, Save Money

So many of the items you’ll be tempted to buy for Thanksgiving boil down to convenience. Anyone can make their own breadcrumbs for stuffing, pie crusts or whipped cream for pennies compared to what you’d spend in the store. Unless you have access to spectacular deals for these kinds of items, bite the bullet and spend a few extra minutes preparing them on your own.

Save Money at Thanksgiving by Hosting a Potluck

If you’ve got the space in your home – but not in your budget – for a holiday feast, take full advantage of offers from friends and family and host a Thanksgiving potluck. Our friends at DoItYourself.com had some advice to share on putting together the perfect menu for 12 adults and 5 kids, including recommendations for veggies, wines and seasonal desserts.

Standout points? The host is generally responsible for preparing the main dish. If you’re making turkey, you’re generally responsible for the stuffing too, as these two items are often prepared together. Also, make sure your guests know what you expect. Coordinate dishes so no staples get left out, and make sure people know if they’re responsible for special serving items, like pie cutters.

Thanksgiving is a special day of thanks, but it’s hard to feel grateful with an empty bank account. Make sure you’re making a reasonable sacrifice to host your family and friends. Be reasonable with your menu and budget, and make sure to put any offers for help to their best use with solid planning. Remember, there’s no minimum amount that needs to be spent in order to enjoy holiday dining.

If you’re working on learning how to stretch your grocery budget, an auto pawn could help. Call your nearest Title Tree location for help.

Customer Referral Program

How would you like an extra $100? With Title Tree’s Customer Referral Program, you will be helping your friends to get connected with a title pawn company they can trust and potentially lining your own pocket with some extra cash! Call one of our four convenient branch location to refer a friend today.

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Budgeting Tips

What holiday budgeting tips will leave you satisfied at the end of the season?

Holiday Budgeting TipsThe best holiday budgeting tips can help you feel happy at the end of the holidays, not stressed out and regretting those special purchases. Going overboard won’t just drain your bank account. It can put a real strain on your relationships. Shoppers who feel too guilty to keep gift-giving reasonable may have buyer’s remorse. They might also feel resentful at recipients who requested big ticket items, so make sure to follow these tricks to keep your holiday spending reasonable.

End your holiday season in happy memories by putting these safeguards in place:

Save money when you mentally prepare yourself for purchases.

According to Good Housekeeping, there’s a real impact when you go gift buying. It’s called the Shopping Momentum Effect, and if you don’t keep it in check, this impulse to buy – and keep buying – could undo your holiday budget for the year. Plan for it in advance, and design your shopping trips to be short, sweet and focused on a list.

Forget about flash sales, and cut holiday spending.

Retailers invest millions into market research. They know what motivates people to spend their money, and they know how to use your emotions to keep your wallet open. One of the most effective holiday sales techniques is the flash deal. These surprise last-minute offers only last a limited time, upping the pressure to make a purchase immediately, before you have time to consider how it will impact your other bills.

Worse, many of these flash deals are a gateway to other sales. Printers need replacement ink, paper and warranties. TV’s need TV stands, surround sound speaker systems, DVD players, entertainment centers and more. Commit at the beginning of the season to avoid flash sales, and you could save a bundle toward planned presents your family, friends and conscience will appreciate more.

Set a reasonable holiday spending budget.

Financial experts recommend keeping your holiday expenses – including wrapping paper, travel and food – below 1.5 percent of your annual income or 20 percent of one month’s income. Unfortunately, that won’t cover travel costs for chunk of shoppers, so what alternatives do you have? It depends on how important the holidays are to you. If this is a major priority for your family, look into financing options, but only invest in those with manageable payment plans.

If you have bad credit, you may still be able to get a store credit card. Store card holders often grow rewards and get special offers as well. Some customers have reported bigger balances and easier approval in the store at the time of purchase. However, store cards also charge higher rates of interest, so make sure you understand how quickly your balance will grow while it’s being paid off.

Prioritize your holiday spending.

Too often, shoppers set an overall budget, head out to the stores and run out of money before they’ve purchased gifts for the most important people in their lives. Humans are hard-wired to want to make people happy. Science proves that giving makes us feel better than receiving. Add to that the effects of Shopping Momentum Effect, and you have a perfect recipe for lots of small gifts for virtually every neighbor, coworker and childhood friend you’re still in touch with on the Internet.

Prioritizing your gift-giving helps you make the most of every dollar you spend. Put the most important people at the top of your list to ensure their gifts are purchased before anyone else’s. Put thought into the types of gifts they might enjoy, and purchase with a purpose.

Use technology to find the biggest holiday shopping bargains.

Once you have a general idea of what you want to buy the most, you can use a variety of online shopping and sales app tools to find items at their lowest prices. A few of the top tools currently in use? Check out the following cost savers:

BuyVia
• ShopSavvy
• Flipp
• Retale
• BlackFriday.com

Visit your nearest Title Tree store for more holiday budgeting tips – or if you need a little help making ends meet right about now. Our financial services are fast, affordable and easy to work into any healthy budget.

Customer Referral Program

How would you like an extra $100? With Title Tree’s Customer Referral Program, you will be helping your friends to get connected with a title pawn company they can trust and potentially lining your own pocket with some extra cash! Call one of our four convenient branch location to refer a friend today.

The Top 3 Holiday Money Saving Tips You Can Put to Use Right Now

holiday money saving tipsWith Black Friday becoming Black November, holiday money saving tips are even more important. Everyone wants to give enough gifts for their friends and family to feel appreciated, but it’s easy to get caught up in the spending spirit.

Here are three ways you can get your gift lists taken care of and stay under budget:

  1. Create gift lists before checking out sales.
    Black Friday sales now begin at the very start of November, with prices dropping significantly by Thanksgiving Day. This presents many pitfalls for those trying to save money. Low prices can entice you to buy things you know aren’t really necessary. Good deals don’t always make good purchases, especially if you’re purchasing things no one in your life wants or needs.Instead of building gift lists around sales, make a list of the people you want to remember on the holidays. Think about each person and things they might like. Once you hit the sales, you can prevent yourself from buying unnecessary items by making sure purchases stick within those guidelines. Don’t let your urge to spend convince you that you’ve forgotten someone on your list either. If you’re plagued by guilt over your second cousin—twice removed—missing out on that vintage set of electric toy racing cars, show you care by sending a card.
  1. Set your budget early on.
    First things first, it’s important to look at how much money you’ll really have for gift giving. How much money will you be bringing in? How much is going toward bills? How much should you put in savings before you start buying things for the holidays? Many people live from paycheck to paycheck and those obligations will still be there after the festivities. Take care of them first.Once you have an overall budget set, set a spending cap for each person on your list. Also reserve a chunk of your budget for emergencies. There may be times when a flash sale calls for a readjustment, but you won’t be able to safely do so without having some money held back. Giving yourself a cushion for responsible overspending is one of the most important holiday money saving tips you can follow in any season.
  1. Use apps to find the best deals.
    Online and over the phone, you have tools to help you find the perfect gifts at the best prices. Some of them even pay you back for making purchases you find through them, like Find&Save or Ibotta. The best savings come from apps which allow you to create watch lists of items along with the maximum price you’d be able to spend on them. Once a sale hits that price point, you’re notified over text or email. Others allow you to scan an item in the store and search for lower prices elsewhere, ensuring you always get the best deal.

Recommended apps include:

  • ShopAdvisor – Earmark select products and get updates when they fall within your budget.
  • Consumr – Learn about sales, read reviews and earn rewards when you leave your own opinions.
  • Smoopa – Easily compare shop by keyword or by scanning barcodes, and get credits for purchases.
  • PriceGrabber – Scan prices in stores and online, including Groupon deals.
  • Amazon Price Check – Scan any item and get instant access to its Amazon pricing. Paired with Prime’s free two-day shipping and discounts, this app could save you big money.
  • Find&Save – This app is also available online, and along with displaying deals, customers can take advantage of impressive F&S rebates.

Hopefully you enjoyed these holiday money saving tips and find them helpful in stretching your budget farther than ever before. However, if you run into the need for extra funds, Title Tree is always here to help you. Call, click, or come in to the Title Tree nearest you, and you’ll see why we’re known for our excellent customer service – and the best rates in town.