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Hidden Holiday Costs & How to Beat Them

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You already know about the gifts and decorations. Here are some holiday expenses you may have not included in your budget this year, along with creative ways to beat them.

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holiday lights

ELECTRICITY

All those twinkling lights can cost a pretty penny—or more than an extra $50 on your electric bill.

SAVE BIG

By switching your lights to LEDs. Also consider leaving your lights on for only a few hours a night, such as during the early evening hours.

Credit Cards

INTEREST ON CREDIT CARDS

Too many shoppers put holiday expenses on credit cards and then pay a lot more because of interest.

SAVE BIG

By sticking to debit cards and cash. If you must use a credit card, be sure to pay your bill before it starts accruing interest.

gift with ribbon

LAST-MINUTE GIFTS

Who has time to shop for bargains when it’s two days before Christmas and you’ve only just remembered about your boss’s kids?

SAVE BIG

By skipping non-essential gifts. Also consider homemade gifts or re-gifting presents you’ve never used.

hot dog

EATING OUT

Last-minute holiday prep got you too busy to cook? You might be spending more than you realize on takeout food this month.

SAVE BIG

By cooking and freezing a few meals ahead of time for those crazy, hectic, pre-holiday evenings. If you can’t hack it without buying dinner a few times this month, consider purchasing an entree only and then adding your own sides and beverages at home.

child unwrapping gift

WRAPPING PAPER

It all ends up in the garbage, but did you know that wrapping paper for gifts can cost close to $100?

SAVE BIG

By purchasing next year’s wrapping paper in January. It won’t go bad and you’ll be ahead of your holiday expenses almost a full year in advance.

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