SAN ANTONIO — It is not even yet Halloween, but you might want to start thinking about the holidays. Creating a holiday budget now can allow you to afford gifts and not go into debt in the new year. Here are five easy ways you can save around $60 a week:
#1: Stop wasting food.
“We all are all guilty of throwing away food that has gone bad, that we haven’t eaten leftovers that have sat in the fridge for too long,” said Andrea Woroch, a money saving expert. “So, the best thing you can do is start meal planning and use recipes that use the similar ingredients to really cut down on what you’re buying.”
Tip: Buy frozen veggies because they last longer. Savings: About $33 a week.
#2: Nix unused monthly subscriptions. This includes streaming services or monthly mail order subscriptions.
“You can pause them until January because you know what?” said Jessica Weaver, a financial expert. “We really don’t have time for them anyway, do we?”
Tip: Use your library’s digital options.
“Most public libraries have a digital platform where you can stream movies and popular shows at no cost,” Woroch said.
Savings: About $4 a week. Total savings is about $37 per week.
#3: Switch to a no fee checking account.
“If you’re not maintaining a minimum balance, a lot of banks will charge you a checking account fee and a lot of times it goes overlooked,” Woroch said. “It maybe only $14 a month, but, again, that adds up.”
Tip: Switch to an online bank or credit union without fees.
Savings: About $4 a week. Total savings is about $41 per week.
#4: Price check your auto insurance.
“The people who fail to compare their auto insurance costs, it’s wasting them about $416 a year,” said Woroch. “At any time you can switch policies. I don’t think people realize that. So once a year, I recommend comparing your auto insurance.”
Tip: Go to TheZebra.com for quotes. This website does not sell your information, so you will not get bombarded by offers and quotes from several auto insurance companies.
Savings: About $8 a week. Total savings is about $49 per week.
#5: Transfer your credit card balance to a zero percent interest card.
“It can cost you a lot in interest every month if you’re only making the minimum payment,” said Woroch. “So, a great way to save on interest and beef up your bank account is to transfer that balance. More of the money you put towards the card actually goes to the balance instead of being eaten up by interest.”
Tip: You can also call your current credit card and ask for a lower interest rate.
Savings: About $14 a week. Your total savings comes in around $63 per week.
Weaver recommends setting a budget as you start saving for the holidays so you know how much money you will need.
“The average consumer spends in between $800 and $900 during the holidays. That’s a good ballpark figure to work with. What I find, though, when we don’t map it out, when we don’t write down all the gifts, then it’s $50 here, $100 there, $200 there and it adds up to more than we think,” Weaver said. “Make a list. Dump everything that you need to buy for the holidays—the Thanksgiving turkey to the holiday gifts that you’re getting your children to the décor and give yourself a budget. Let’s start putting a dollar limit on each one.”
Starting now on savings and budget can help you go into 2022 free of holiday debt.
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