Is the idea of spending tons of money and racking up big credit card balances giving you pre-Holiday nausea? You aren’t alone. The average American will spend around $750 on Christmas with some estimates closer to $1000.
Spend Less, Get More
How’d you like to spend less money on the holidays and get more? This isn’t about getting up at 2AM to hit the latest door buster specials at the mall. It’s also not a strategy for those who insist on shiny and new although that’s possible too!
The Secret to Christmas Plenty on a Budget
There are several ways to get great value on near new and sometimes new items. Here are a few:
- Pawn Shops – that’s right, Pawn Shops. If you’re looking for tools, musical instruments, jewelry, sporting goods (particularly golf clubs) and electronics, pawn shops can represent an amazing saving’s source. I’ve found good condition contractor grade ladders, generators and other tools for 1/2 or better off of retail pricing.
- Thrift Stores – my local Goodwill store is packed to the gills during the holiday season and with good reason. You can great deals on clothing, household items and other collectibles at your local pawn shop. Why spend $45+ on a pair of designer jeans when you can get a slightly distressed pair for under $10?
- Consignment Stores – the upscale version of the thrift store. If you don’t mind gently worn goods and you’re partial to designer labels then give the local consignment stores a look. Clothing, furnishing and other high end items can be had for pennies on their original retail dollar.
- Craigslist (craigslist.org) – craigslist is the digital age’s answer to the for sale ads of yesterday’s newspapers. You can find almost anything on craigslist if you’re patient and persistent. A couple of examples. My wife found a replacement for her flushed smart phone for 1/3 of retail and her new phone was still in its original box. I was fortunate to find a high end sports watch and heart monitor for $45 which retailed new for $275 and it had never been used.
- Sample Sales – I used to be a manufacturer’s rep for a menswear company. At any given time I might have several dozen articles of brand new clothing that I needed to dispose of to make room for the new season’s offerings. Keep an eye online, on craigslist and in the newspapers for local sample sales. Any metropolitan region of any size has its share of manufacturers reps who are willing to unload their out of season samples for a fraction of the retail rack price. And since they’re selling a season or 2 in advance, you can often get the latest fashions at below last season’s price.
Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas
So now that you know how to enjoy a bountiful holiday season and keep more money in the bank how about taking your savings and investing in something truly worthwhile like your retirement account, family vacation or planned for home improvement project?!