It’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and glam of the holiday season. The only problem is, the glitz and glam also come at a cost… presents for family, distant family, friends, work parties and of course decorations for the house. It will quickly remind you of how many people are in your circle; it will also quickly remind you how expensive this circle can be. Take a close look at these four tips to save you money this season:

Master the ’10-second’ rule.

“Whenever you’re in a store and you pick up an item, hold it for ten seconds,” writes founder of The Simple Dollar Trent Hamm, in his book, “365 Ways to Live Cheap.”

“During those ten seconds, ask yourself if you really need it and also if that money wouldn’t be better used somewhere else. You’ll almost always find yourself putting that unnecessary item back on the shelf and walking away, quite proud that you didn’t waste your money on something so unnecessary.”

Put this strategy to test when you’re shopping for stocking stuffers — it’s easy to get carried away with small, relatively inexpensive presents, but a bunch of little purchases can add up over the course of the gift-giving season.

Practice the ‘stranger test’

Another quick and easy in-store trick: When deciding whether or not to make a purchase,imagine a stranger offering your would-be purchase in one hand and the cash it would take to buy it in the other. If you’d rather accept the cash, you might as well keep that money in your pocket.

Go cash-only.



Research shows that people spend significantly more when using credit cards instead of cash. So if you’re looking to curb your spending, try bringing only cash to the store.

Simply leave the plastic at home, determine how much money to withdraw for your holiday gifts, and buy things only with the cash you allocated for yourself. When it runs out, you’re out of funds.


Break down the monetary value of your hour.

Reddit user Koketa13 recommends converting dollars to hours. “If you make $10 an hour, then that cup of coffee isn’t just $2, it’s 12 minutes of your life,” he says. “For me, this helped put a lot of things into perspective and cut down on impulse purchases.” How many minutes are you spending on wrapping paper?


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