From the Editor’s Desk

Andrea Norris-McKnight

Several Ideas for Frugal Holiday Fun

Hello Frugal Friend!

Given the uncertainty of where the economy is headed, this is not a year to overspend on the holidays or take on more debt. But that does not mean you cannot make it an enjoyable holiday for your family. Here are three articles that can help you have a lot of holiday fun for very little cash outlay:

Keep on Stretching those Dollars!
Andrea

Apps That Can Help You Save on Holiday Shopping

Chances are, much of your holiday shopping will be done online. Thankfully, there now are a number of apps, sites and browser extensions that can help you easily find the best deals and save with coupons and discounts no matter what you are shopping for or when you are shopping.

The following apps can help you save this holiday season (or any time of the year). The first five allow you to watch for sales on specific items, and most allow you to earn cash back or rewards for shopping.

Keep on Stretching those Dollars!
Andrea

Don’t Break the Savings Habit

Hello Frugal Friend!

Last week we discussed rising credit card interest rates and the need to stop charging if you’re carrying a balance. This week I’d like to talk a bit about savings.

When the budget gets tight, one of the first financial habits we break is putting money away regularly into savings. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the personal savings rate (personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income) dropped to 3.1% in September. This time last year, it was 7.3%. So we’re saving less than half of what we were last year.

And for many people, it can’t be helped. When prices go up and the budget continues to tighten, something has to give — which is often savings.

Many financial experts say that building an emergency fund is critical right now. They are right, but how do you build an emergency fund when you can barely afford to feed your family? The thought of saving one, three or six months of expenses probably feels overwhelming.

You start small.

If you are in the habit of saving regularly, don’t break the habit. It can be that much harder to start again. Even if you have to reduce your savings to only $5 or $10 a week to keep the habit going, try to continue saving something.

And if you haven’t yet developed a habit of saving regularly? Yes, this might be a tough time to start, but you, too, can start small. Here are two articles that may help:

Keep on Stretching those Dollars!
Andrea

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