StatePoint) Amid the merriment of the holiday season is a hard reality — nearly six in 10 Americans don’t have enough savings to afford an unexpected expense like a $500 car repair or $1000 emergency room bill, according to a Bank survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associations International..
While 83 percent of U.S. consumers are expected to spend $1,189 this holiday season, an amount equal to or more than they spent last year, there is no reason to enter the new year in bad financial standing if you do some smart planning and spend wisely. Here are some great ways to reduce your seasonal spending, without cutting back on the cheer.
• Know your limit. Figure out how much you can spend on gifts, decorations, etc. Divide the total amount into a per-gift limit. If it doesn’t add up, cut back the gift list or consider making a baked item or other homemade gift, or giving a gift certificate for a service you might provide, such as babysitting, car washing or house cleaning.
• Shop wisely. Watch for special sale days and coupons. Many online retail sites offer free shipping, discounts and other promotions during the holiday season. After the holidays, look for deep sales on wrapping paper and greeting cards to save for next year’s celebrations.