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This Week Around The Web

1. Tight on Cash? 9 Creative Ways to Stretch Your Holiday Budget

The Penny Hoarder — Overspending during the holidays is easy. Consumers get the holiday fever and keep buying  or they don’t include all the minute expenses associated with holiday shopping and blow their budget. Things like buying wrapping paper, cards, extra food, etc., end up costing them.

Make your budget go further by using these tips from the Penny Hoarder. They suggest creating a “deal stacking plan” and buying cheap gifts that appear expensive. For example, if you have a friend or relative that bakes or cooks, get them some baking mixes or a cooking gadget. Here’s a cool financial management tool you can use for budgeting.

2. 3 Free Money Management Services You Need to Try

Debt Roundup  Quicken is not as effective as other financial management tools these days. That’s why Grayson provides three free alternatives, which all “work in the cloud.” He says, “the best part is you can try them out before you make a full switch.”

One alternative is PowerWallet. We highlight them for selfish reasons because they partner with Grayson believes PowerWallet’s interactive calendar feature is useful. It “helps you keep ultimate control over your bills and your money.” Check it out.

3. 5 Costs You Can’t Leave out of Your Holiday Budget

Smartasset  Let’s continue with our budgeting and money management theme. As we mentioned before, this is important because managing your finances around the holidays becomes more difficult. It takes focus and discipline. But we can easily lose focus with all the holiday cheer surrounding us  and the sales.

Rebecca’s first cost is: “Shipping and Postage.” Most online retail outlets offer free shipping. But that usually comes with a cost — such as minimum orders or qualifying orders or an upfront cost for joining a premium service. These costs add up. Read about what other things you can’t leave out of your budget.

4. Do You Have a Christmas Gift Budget? Here’s Why You Should

Young Finances  Chonce spends a bit more during the holiday season. But being a frugal person, who doesn’t spend recklessly during the year, she’s budgeted for it. That’s why building a gift budget is smart. It helps track your holiday expenses. Otherwise, you build more debt and face the consequences, such as ruining your credit score.

Her first reason is noteworthy: “It Helps to Organize and Brainstorm Gift Ideas.” While you’re creating a budget, organize your shopping list, too. This way you’ll have the gifts, recipients and money you budget for each gift in the same place. She also offers a few budgeting tips at the end of her blog.

5. More Americans Expect to Be in Debt Until Death

Money Talks News  The shocking statistic Karla found is “21 percent of people carrying debt said they expect they will never be rid of it.” That’s why more people should use the financial solutions provides, and also keep reading the helpful blogs we feature.

Although that paints a bleak picture, there is some good news. The average American thinks they’ll be rid of their debt by age 54. I’m not sure what an “average” American is though. What ever the case, start educating yourself on financial issues. And if you find yourself overwhelmed by debt, get some help. Don’t be like the 21 percent who think they’ll die in debt.

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