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There’s nothing quite like that giddy feeling you get when Christmas carols start playing at the mall. That’s usually the biggest sign that the holidays are in full-swing. Everyone smiles a little more, everyone’s ready to party a little harder, and there’s just plenty of love in the air. It all feels like a delightful dream until the dread hit’s you with a gut-punch – you totally forgot to budget for gifts this year. If this dilemma sounds all too familiar, don’t panic. It’s not too late to pull off a Christmas miracle as long as you’re willing to bootstrap a little bit. Here are twelve easy money-saving tips that can help raise a little extra cash for the holidays… whether or not you end up using it on gifts:

Shop Smart:

Most people naturally have very wasteful shopping habits. Instead of hunting for bargains, we opt to spend based on branding or store proximity. Rather than shopping just to feel good, shop with the central aim of meeting your current needs economically. For example:
Take time to plan and compare prices.
Use coupons and read through junk mail for special offers and sales.
Use a shopping list, and stick to the plan.
Sign up for Rewards Programs.
Shop online, especially for electronics.
Don’t use large shopping carts for quick trips. You’ll only end up filling them with extra purchases.
Don’t shop on an empty stomach. You’ll end up spending too much money on food.

Go Green:

The entire point behind environmentalism is conservation. This conservation has the wonderful consequence of saving money. The more you do to be ecological, the less cash you spend in the long run. For example:
Switch off every light bulb and electronic device in your home if it’s not being used. This will lower your power bill.
Buy rechargeable batteries and you won’t have to keep replenishing them once they’re exhausted.
Use cloth napkins instead of paper towels and you won’t have to spend money resupplying every month.
Find a recycling center that pays cash for recyclables like scrap metal, bottles, cans, electronics, printer cartridges and so on.

Get Smart about Smart Devices:

Allowing mobile devices to operate unmonitored not only consumes electricity, it also inflates data usage charges. If a smart device has an inactive screen, make sure the entire device is actually idle with precautions like these:
Switch off the Mobile Data or Wifi if you aren’t using them.
Shutdown all apps completely instead of merely exiting the screen.
Turn of location settings unless you are actively using GPS.
Use power-saving modes to keep the device charged for longer.

Review your Subscriptions:

If there is anything you’ve ever spent money on that needs periodic payments to maintain, think about whether you still actively use it. If not, terminate these payments in order to lower your financial burden every month. For example:
Magazine or newspaper delivery services are redundant considering you can access all the information you need online.
Owning a credit card with an annual fee is unnecessary when there are plenty of free options available.
Evaluate which of your entertainment services you actually use and commit to just one. For instance it makes no financial sense to simultaneously maintain subscriptions like Netflix, Cable, Satellite TV, Hulu, and so on, when in practice you probably only watch one hour of TV every day.

These are just a handful of ways you can cut costs and save on cash. The options are endless provided you’re willing to take a serious look at where every dime you earn goes. If you notice any wastage, make some minor changes and it will surprise you how far you can stretch a dollar. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on healthy living, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love our many informative workshops and events listed on Eventbrite: Join RISE Programs any time to learn how to break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.

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