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Thursday, November 26 If you take a little taste of the holidays now, you’ll save more. The less time you have at the holidays, the more likely you are to spend more, just to get things out of the way. Discover 12 ways to plan for savings — and still create a festive spirit.
Friday, November 27 Make your budget and gift list now — and check it twice — before hitting the stores or shopping online. Your wallet will thank you, we promise! We’ve even made it easy with our handy holiday calculator.
Saturday, November 28 Layaway largely vanished during the 1980s with the onslaught of consumer credit cards, which allowed shoppers to bring home their treasures before paying for them in full. Today’s hard times are tailor-made for layaway.
Sunday, November 29 The recession has not been kind to the travel industry, to put it mildly. What does this mean for the average traveler? Clearly, the outlet mall of world travel is open for business. Here are six steps you can take to make sure you reap the benefits.
Monday, November 30 What is sure to be the most popular electronic gadget this holiday season? The computer you already own. Whether you’re surfing and shopping, or buying and shipping, here are eight great ways your computer can help you keep a little extra green in your pockets.
Tuesday, December 1 It’s the most wonderful time of the year, unless you’re the one assigned the task of untangling the lights, balancing on the ladder and spending hours hanging and rearranging your home’s exterior holiday decorations. If you’d like to give yourself the gift of hiring a Christmas lighting pro, here’s what you need to know about this glowing, growing business.
Wednesday, December 2 Savvy shoppers are expected to comparison shop online this year — instead of spending too much by clicking “Charge my card” without thinking through their purchases. Here are their secrets for maximizing their holiday spending power.
Thursday, December 3 Nothing says happy holidays like free stuff. And this year especially, people are looking for ways to give gifts that won’t cost too much but will still be appreciated. Step in, free gift cards.
Friday, December 4 Here are 12 easy, festive ways to create family memories without stressing — and each costs less than $15. Schedule in plenty of these fun family ideas to keep you around the hearth and home, then season in sparingly with outings and shopping.
Sunday, December 6 While you may think it’s crazy to tackle the huge task of homebuying during the schedule-jammed holiday season, the holidays are actually a great time to find real estate deals in today’s new economy.
Monday, December 7 Don’t let a sagging economy prevent you from hosting an affordable holiday party with panache. It just takes planning and ingenuity to polish your holiday event without breaking the bank.
Tuesday, December 8 It’s tempting to overspend during the holiday season. While drawing up a budget may sound Scrooge-ish, the exact opposite can be true. Thinking about how you’d really like to celebrate the holiday can make the season more, not less, meaningful.
Wednesday, December 9 The holiday season is now in gear. Bankrate shares these tips to help stretch your gift dollar. Bottom line: The way to save money during the holidays is to do what Santa does: Make a list, check it twice. And, above all, use your imagination instead of your cash.
Thursday, December 10 Shopping for toys this holiday season doesn’t have to be a budget buster. With toymakers adjusting to Americans’ more frugal shopping habits, this season the price of fun isn’t as high as in the past, Two industry experts choose their favorite toys that will fit your budget and delight the kids.
Friday, December 11 Tired of starting the new year with a pile of debt? Shop smart, and you can enjoy the holidays without putting yourself in the poor house. Here are 18 tips to help you make the most of your time and money.
Saturday, December 12 Now that you’ve managed to purchase all the items on your gift list, make sure you don’t drain your bank account in order to ship them. Here’s how to determine what shipping options will get your gifts to their destination safely, on time and without busting your budget.
Sunday, December 13 OK, despite your best intentions, you never quite got around to saving for the holidays, and now that the festivities are approaching, you’re not exactly flush with cash. Cheer up! With a little creativity, you can still save your holidays. Who knows, you might even have a warmer, closer gathering with family and friends without the credit card hangover that comes from holiday overspending.
Tuesday, December 15 Ready to hit the road and get away from it all? Make sure your car is ready for the journey, too. Few things spoil a road trip or family vacation more quickly than car trouble far from home. Who wants to spend even a moment of a hard-earned holiday on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck? Learn what could make all the difference.
Wednesday, December 16 When it comes to saving money on the holidays, most budget-conscious folks spend a lot of their energy thinking about ways to economize on gifts. However, if you also host a holiday party, you also can cut costs by applying smart shopping strategies to your décor, food and beverage purchases.
Thursday, December 17 You won’t have to struggle with a tale of two (or more) holiday financial disasters if you follow the advice of some celebrated Christmas characters, like Santa, Scrooge and Elvis. We’ve taken a look at a dozen seasonal celebrants. Each embodies a valuable money message to make the days merry and bright. So, settle back and enjoy our slideshow.
Friday, December 18 Serve up a dining delight without starving your bank account. What better reason than a feast to bring family and friends together? Yet pulling off a well-heeled meal can be a challenge on a shoestring budget. Minimize your load from the grocery store and lighten your food bill with a little consumer smarts.
Saturday, December 19 Overspending and the holidays often go hand in hand. It’s too easy for people to say, ‘Oh, I’ll just get this one more gift for so and so. But how about promising yourself a frugal holiday instead? Experts suggest 12 ways to buy gifts that are frugal, but not cheap.
Sunday, December 20 Bankrate surveyed gift cards from American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa, 22 of the largest retailers and the three largest restaurant chain operators, for a total of 29 cards. We’ve made comparison shopping with all the details for each gift card on our chart.
Monday, December 21 With holiday sales expected to reach $470.4 billion this year, retailers will be pulling out all the stops to get you to spend more money than you initially planned. It’s easy to get carried away with the spirit of the season and to overspend when shopping for gifts. Here are seven ways you can bust your budget without even trying.
Tuesday, December 22 Your event may go well. Or something unexpected may occur due to bad weather or misbehaving guests. Event liability insurance could protect you and your finances should weather or accidents thwart your good time.
Wednesday, December 23 Personal chefs give new meaning to eating in. They bring the groceries to your kitchen and cook up several dinner dishes right there. Leaving the monotony of after-work meal planning, preparation and cooking to a professional personal chef can help trim the fat from your food budget. No more impulse buys during a sprint through the supermarket. Find out what a personal chef can do for you.
Thursday, December 24 No matter where you live, recent increases in energy prices have probably pushed your utility bill higher than you’d like, but you don’t have to take it lying down. There are plenty of ways to cut your energy costs, and many of them involve small changes that don’t require spending a lot of cash. In fact, you can get some significant power savings without spending a cent.
Friday, December 25 The kids, of course, wonder how their red-suited benefactor gets down all those chimneys in just one night. But the accountants have another question: Exactly how does the Santa business model work? So Bankrate.com, always fiscally responsible, decided to take a look at Santa’s balance sheet and see how this all works out financially.