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Thursday, Nov. 25 The day after Thanksgiving is known in retail circles as Black Friday, the most popular shopping day of the year. But it doesn’t have to be a day where crowds wear on your nerves and not much gets accomplished. Arm yourself with these expert tips for shopping success.
Saturday, Nov. 27 There’s money to be made this holiday season, whether you’re unemployed or just looking for some extra spending money. You just need to know where to look, what managers are looking for and how to fit a temporary job into your schedule.
Sunday, Nov. 28 Americans are facing some tough financial times. But a handful of tools and rules are making it easier to manage those finances, and for that, we can all give thanks. Here’s a quick list of seven to put on your list, plus how to squeeze the most out of each.
Monday, Nov. 29 The day after Thanksgiving used to be D-Day for holiday shopping, but thanks to the Web, brick-and-mortar-focused Black Friday must now compete with online bargains on Cyber Monday. Savvy shoppers can make the most of the Web frenzy by taking advantage of a few key strategies to save money.
Tuesday, Nov. 30 With the economy on the minds of many this holiday season, it’s the perfect time to focus on gifts that can literally keep on giving. Gifts with a financial theme offer benefits that can last longer than a toy or electronic gadget. And there are plenty of money gifts to choose from this holiday season. Check out our favorites.
Wednesday, Dec. 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. Here’s how to budget for the brilliance.
Thursday, Dec. 2 The stores are decked out in red and green. The shopping season looms large. And retailers are hoping for more growth in this year’s holiday spending than last year. But if you’re determined to escape the cycle of holiday overspending, here’s how to do it.
Friday, Dec. 3 Retailers run sales for one reason — and it isn’t what you think. More often than not, sales merely get you in the door, where retailers easily trick you into buying more. At least that’s their goal. Learn to recognize sophisticated retail ploys, so you can cruise through any store with less of a headache and more money in your pocket.
Saturday, Dec. 4 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.
Sunday, Dec. 5 It’s tempting to overspend during the holiday season. While the average consumer plans to pay off holiday bills in three months, the true time frame is closer to six months. While drawing up a budget may sound Scrooge-ish, the exact opposite can be true.
Tuesday, Dec. 7 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? This pre-trip auto checkup could make all the difference.
Thursday, Dec. 9 The economy may have drained your entertaining budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t host a holiday party with panache. It just takes planning — and ingenuity — to create champagne parties on a beer budget. Here are some easy ways to polish your holiday event without breaking the bank.
Friday, Dec. 10 The holidays can be tough on family budgets, especially in the middle of a prolonged economic blizzard that still has Americans financially snowed in. The good news is toy makers have responded to economic hard times by offering lower prices on key products.
Saturday, Dec. 11 The seasonal angst about holiday tipping centers on two major questions: How much cheer should you spread, and to whom? Learn the rituals of holiday tipping and who will be expecting a gift from you this season.
Sunday, Dec. 12 A recent Gallup Poll says American consumers plan to spend an average of $715 on holiday gifts this year. Whether that amount accurately reflects your budget or not, you can still make the most of what you spend. Several experts chime in on how to save money and avoid going into debt for the holidays.
Monday, Dec. 13 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. These tips help you make the most of your time and money.
Tuesday, Dec. 14 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 decor, food and beverage purchases.
Thursday, Dec. 16 You won’t have to struggle with tales of financial holiday disasters if you follow the advice of some celebrated Christmas characters. We’ve taken a look at a dozen seasonal celebrants; each embodies a valuable money message to make the days merry and bright.
Friday, Dec. 17 ‘Tis the season for holidays on a dime. These festive reader tips help with giving gifts and celebrating the holidays without being a Grinch. When you’ve finished reading them, help one finalist jingle all the way … to the bank! The story that receives the most “likes” on Bankrate’s Facebook page will receive a $200 Amazon.com gift card.
Saturday, Dec. 18 Do you want to keep the holidays merry and bright but don’t want your wallet in the red come the New Year? These tips can help you keep the holiday spirit while keeping the green in your pocket.
Sunday, Dec. 19 Ah, the holiday season. A time of glad tidings, goodwill toward all and joyful giving, right? Not for those among us who say “bah humbug” to the holidays. While the rest of us exchange presents, share a cup of cheer and count our blessings, these tightwads will go to outrageous lengths to weasel out of seasonal spending. Chances are good that you know one or more of these eight kinds of Scrooges lurking out there.
Monday, Dec. 20 It’s a neat card trick: You purchase a small square of plastic and, after the holiday, it transforms into a present. This year, consumers are buying gift cards in record numbers. Whether you’re purchasing cards for friends, family or co-workers, you want to get your money’s worth. So ask these seven smart questions before you buy a gift card.
Tuesday, Dec. 21 Overspending and the holidays often go hand in hand. So how about promising yourself a frugal holiday instead? While it’s common to associate frugal with cheap, experts say there’s a big difference between the two. To be frugal is to be budget-conscious and sensible. Here’s how to get the most for your money without having to sacrifice your taste.
Wednesday, Dec. 22 Exchanging unwanted presents is as much a day-after-the-holiday tradition as leftover turkey sandwiches. But easy gift return policies increasingly seem like a ghost of Christmas past. Today, retailers are tightening the terms of exchanges or gift returns. They want to know more about you and why you’re returning your present. They also want to protect themselves against theft and deception.
Thursday, Dec. 23 Have you got a handful of store gift cards just begging to be cashed in? Or maybe you scored some general-use cards, such as Visa or American Express gift cards. These can be used anywhere the network brand is accepted. Merchants consider gift cards as good as cash and you should, too. So consider a bright and shiny gift card found money and spend them wisely.