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How To Be Smart With Your Money This Holiday Season

The holiday season is fast approaching and this means that you may have some travel plans on the horizon. Christmas is a great time to get together with your loved ones, but it is also a time to watch your finances. Here are some helpful tips to help you stay smart with your money during the holiday season.

Use prepaid travel cards

These cards serve as a useful alternative to credit cards and debit cards. Money can easily be loaded onto the prepaid card and it can then be used for travel reservations, purchases and cash withdrawals. The nice thing about these cards is the security they provide. Since they are not connected to any of your bank accounts you don’t have to worry about identity theft. You will also have to limit your purchases and expenses since you have a limit on the balance. You can budget your expenses before you buy the card so that you are not tempted to spend more than you can afford while you are away.

Make a travel budget

A lot of people never consider making a budget for their travel activities and this can end up being a huge mistake. When you are away from home it is easier to spend money since you are more carefree and have less restrictions that you would at home.

You need to sit down and plan out what you need to spend for necessities and how much you can use for activities and purchases. This will help stop overspending because you’ll know before leaving exactly how much you can afford to spend. You must also remember to put some money aside in case an emergency arises while you’re away.

Avoid costly souvenirs

During the holiday season you will have enough to spend your money on without having to worry about purchasing expensive souvenirs. Christmas is a time of giving and you really don’t need to worry about bringing home anything fancy for your friends and family. Just let them know before you go away that you won’t be spending any money on souvenirs so they won’t be expecting anything when you return.
Avoid eating out

If you are heading off to visit family or friends this may not be a too much of a problem, but it can come up. If you are staying in a hotel and need to eat some meals look out for local cafes that offer good food at a reasonable price. Hotel restaurants are usually overpriced and the quality is not always the best.

Plan your trip wisely

Spontaneity has its place but only when funds are available to sponsor it. If you are running on a limited budget being spontaneous can get very expensive. You want to get through this holiday season with a smile on your face in January knowing that you were able to avoid temptation and managed to stay on budget. The more you plan out your trip during the holiday season the more money you will save on reckless impulse spending.

Added expenses

Travel agents are going to be very encouraging when it comes to a holiday trip and will make many suggestions about holiday add-ons for your trip. Keep in mind that the more excursions and add-ons you purchase the more money goes into your travel agent’s pocket. Let your agent know upfront what your plans are for the holiday and that you do not plan on purchasing anything extra. This will curb your temptation to buy an interesting excursion or experience.

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November 18, 2010 um 9:48 am
Personal Finance
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