Texas Living

12 Months to Save for Christmas

By Karen J. Bannan 1.12.15

Buyer’s remorse isn’t uncommon around this time of year — and for good reason. The average American household spent $735 during the 2013 holiday season, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The best way to avoid going into debt is to plan ahead and save money. Here are simple, realistic ways to save money over the next 12 months to prepare for the 2015 holidays, according to consumer money saving expert, Andrea Woroch.

Turn Unwanted Gifts Into Cash
Not a fan of that new sweater? Sell it online on eBay, RecycleYourFashions.com, or a local Facebook selling group. Not thrilled with your new tablet? Try selling it on Craigslist.com or Gazelle.com. Take the cash you make and put it away for gift-buying this Christmas.
“You can also trade in old gadgets at Target and Amazon for gift cards that you can save for the following holiday season. Sell unwanted gift cards at GiftCardGranny.com,” says Woroch.

Tip Yourself
Manicures, dog washing, and house cleaning can cost money. Skip the professional services once a month by doing it yourself and put the money away for holiday shopping. “Create a separate fund and pay yourself what you’d expect to dish out on those services,” says Woroch.

Save Loose Change
The quarters and nickels that end up on the night table — not to mention the $1 bills that go through the wash — can add up. Woroch suggests stashing your loose change and dollars in a piggy bank by putting the money into an interest-bearing savings account throughout the year. Another fun option: “Every time you use a coupon, put the money you saved directly into savings,” she says. “Use the CouponSherpa mobile app to find coupons at hundreds of retailers to help you reach your holiday savings goals faster.”