Keep Your Holiday Spending in Check

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holiday spending got you singing the blues?It’s easy to get carried away around the holidays, spending more than you planned on that perfect gift for mom or tacking on another stocking stuffer for a dear friend. But don’t let the “Season of Giving” give you heartburn because you’re spending more than you can afford.

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Wired has a great article about how to find the best online deals around the holidays. My favorite tip is making it a habit of consulting coupon Web sites before making any online purchase. My site of choice is Deal Catcher, which covers sales, promotion codes and other coupons. Another tip is to get on e-newsletter lists from your favorite stores — and the favorite stores of your friends and family — so you’re the first to know about the latest offers and sales.

Don’t dismiss shipping costs either, advises Wired. Take advantage of shipping deals, or as I like to do, group gifts from the same store together so you pay less overall in shipping costs for one big bundle rather than paying individually for each shipment. Being a big online shopper and a fan of big deals (who isn’t?!), I also tend to stay away from stores that charge major cash for basic shipping — like the $15 shipping fee for a tank top that weighs almost nothing. No way!

Among the other great tips for e-shoppers: shop early, take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, clean your Web browser’s cookies (some stores actually charge higher prices for frequent shoppers) and buy refurbished. If you make a little extra effort with your shopping list, you might be surprised how much you can save — even if it is a little bit here, a little bit there.

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If you’re not sure how far off-track your holiday shopping is sending you, Quizzle will soon be able to help. We’ll give you a personalized Budget that will allow you to keep track of all the money coming in as well as the money going out, so you always know where you stand. We’ll even give you tips and tricks to improve your Budget so when the holidays come around again, you’ll have that available cash to spend on the extras. Hang tight; Quizzle‘s coming soon. Sign up now to be notified when Quizzle‘s live.