Last Updated On: December 09, 2014 11:14

How much do you plan on spending for gifts this holiday season? If you compare yourself to the average U.S. adult, plan to spend over $700. According to Gallup’s latest poll, you’ll spend an average of $720 on gifts this year; that’s quite a large amount to allot out of your budget, and for most, just isn’t an option. Check out our tips to save some dough on gifts this holiday season to make sure you don’t find yourself in debt for the new year!

  • When planning for family gifts: if you have multiple children, it might be a good idea to plan for a few little separate gifts per child with one bigger, more expensive gift for all the children to share. This cuts down the expense of buying each child one huge gift.

  • Set suggested price limits for gifts. This includes your older family members, friends, and coworkers. A spending limit is key, or just stick to doing a gift exchange including the whole group.

  • Shop the sales! Keep your eyes open while you’re shopping for the perfect gift at a discount.

  • Be mindful of the extra costs of wrapping paper and shipping – it all adds up. Use what you have and always look for free shipping coupons or other promotions when you’re online shopping.

Just remember, the real joy of the holiday season is spending time with your family and loved ones, not just spending money on them. Enjoy the holidays, but don’t go broke in the process! And, as always, start planning ahead for next year – the holidays will be upon us again before we know it!

Last Updated On: November 24, 2014 11:43

It’s almost time for Thanksgiving – which also brings one the most anticipated shopping days of the year: Black Friday. If you’re willing to brave the early hours, long lines, and other frantic shoppers, you’ll need a few of these tips to make the day a success.

1. Plan. Planning for this busy day includes a few steps: creating a budget, making a list, researching ads, and possibly even visiting the stores to find where the products you need are located.
2. Don’t get sidetracked. Stick with your plan and don’t be tempted by another deal you find that day. If it wasn’t on your list (or included in your budget) you don’t need it!
3. Think comfort. It will be long day, so wear comfortable shoes and clothes and also consider bringing a friend to keep you company in the long lines – and to help keep you sane!

Above all, just try to enjoy the day if you’re brave enough to venture out. Even if the last product of an item on your list is snatched up right before your eyes, keep cool. You’ve still got a few weeks before the holidays; plus, you’ve got Cyber Monday deals coming in a few short days to pick up anything you may have missed! Happy shopping!

Last Updated On: November 17, 2014 11:02

As we’re nearing mid-November, the holiday season is on the minds of many. Family gatherings, the great food, and, of course, the gifts that so often accompany these occasions. It’s time to start preparing for the expensive time of year that the holidays bring with a few tips to help you save!

Time to start now! The best way to save money is to shop now. Research your options and find the best products at the best value for the items on your list. Don’t let a last-minute gift run find you spending way more than you had originally wanted to.

Plan ahead - and then stick to your budget!
Sit down and work out a list of everyone that you’ll be buying presents for in the coming months. Also, write down possible gift ideas. This will help you research your options. Lastly, when shopping, stick to your budget. Even if you do find another little trinket you think your niece would like in addition to her other gift, resist. One gift is plenty when you’re on a budget.


Shop online! Want to mostly avoid the distractions of the cleverly laid out aisles in the store? Stick to shopping online. Keep an eye on deals and search sites for coupons to help save and possibly get free shipping in the process.

With plenty of time to still shop for the holidays, another tool that you should be taking advantage of is rewards cards. While still sticking with your budget, using one of these cards not only helps you purchase the items on your list, but also rewards you back with cash, points, or other benefits. Check out the offers here to help you get started on your holiday shopping!

P.S. The biggest shopping day of the year is just a few weeks away – keep an eye here next week for our tips to surviving Black Friday!

Bookmark and Share Filed Under: Saving Money
Last Updated On: November 03, 2014 14:10

The leaves and the temperature are quickly falling, signifying the change of the season; winter will be soon upon us. With the very drastic change in weather that we will soon be experiencing, it is best to get our lives ready for winter – not only to protect our belongings, but to save a bit of cash on energy bills during the cold months of the year. Here are a few tips to keep you toasty!

Outdoors:

  • Make sure to store outdoor furniture accordingly. Don’t let the items you bought get damaged and in need of repair come spring.
  • Empty out hoses and store them indoors. Also, turn off water to all outside lines and spigots. This can save you from some frozen pipes!
  • Clean out your gutters before the snow hits. When it comes time for the snow to start melting, it will drain correctly through the gutters when no old leaves are clogging them.

Indoors:

  • Block the drafts. The areas around windows and doors are where you can lose the warmth. Be sure to seal these up.
  • Change your furnace filters regularly. Changing the filter monthly can save you in energy costs since your furnace will not have to try as hard to push the air through a clean filter.
  • Turn down your water heater. A normal temperature that many set theirs at is 140 degrees, lowering the temp to 120 degrees can reduce water heating costs by up to 10%.
  • Keep an eye on your thermostat. The best advice is to get a programmable thermostat so you can set timers on when you need your house warmer – no need to keep the house toasty while you’re not even home!
  • Dress warmly. Layers are your best friend in the winter months. Warmer clothes mean you don’t have to have your thermostat cranked all the way up!
  • Insulate pipes! This will help keep your pipes from freezing in the winter, preventing a costly plumbing repair if the pipes burst.

Making it through the winter months does not have to be spendy. Just keep these tips in mind as you prepare in the coming weeks to help you save some of your hard earned cash on your energy bills until we hit spring (and warmer weather) again!

Bookmark and Share Filed Under: Saving Money
Last Updated On: October 29, 2014 16:30

With the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, “your next trip is just around the corner.” If you’re looking for a new travel rewards card, look no further than the Arrival Plus™ World Elite card for its many unique, ongoing features for the avid traveler.

Not only does the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® offer 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 90 days, but it also offers a multitude of other great perks that you may not be aware of, including 10% miles back when you redeem miles for a travel statement credit, the ability to do partial redemptions and an EMV chip, which gives you extra security and confidence wherever chip technology is supported. This rewards card is loaded with benefits a traveler simply cannot pass up, all for an $89 annual fee. With the Arrival Plus™ World Elite card, you, as a cardmember, will also receive your complimentary online FICO® credit score, along with earning 2x miles on everything so you can build up miles quicker.

Oh, and don’t forget to join the Barclaycard Travel Community where you can share your travel stories, research future adventures and earn participation miles!  Don’t miss out on the great benefits that the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® offers!

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