smart spending

Recover from a holiday spending hangover

Instead of a vacation, enjoy a staycation
Instead of a vacation, enjoy a staycation

Is the winter-break vacation to Hawaii or Mexico impossible this year? Visit your local tourism bureau's website to find frugal ideas for a "staycation," a vacation taken at home. Tourism sites often offer inexpensive festivals, events and free entertainment picks such as municipal-sponsored concerts.

For something different, Welbes suggests the Factory Tours USA's website to find out whether any factories in your area offer tours. "If you look for factories that make food products, you might end up getting free food samples," Welbes says.

Local volunteering is also a way to participate in entertainment that might be out of your budget, Welbes says. For example, you could volunteer to usher at the local theater or symphony, or to take tickets at a designer house show.

"The important thing to keep in mind is that you must volunteer for a position that requires you to be on hand for the event if you want to enjoy the entertainment," Welbes says.

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