4 steps for saving on your holiday purchases


(NC) Saving money over the holidays is easier than you think. Here are four steps to help you stay on budget:

Make a list

We’ve all been to the grocery store without a list and brought home something we already had, or forgotten the all-important ingredient for a meal. When it comes to holiday shopping, sticking to a plan is more important than ever. With a list you’re less likely to forget someone or something, and more likely to stay within your planned spending.

Do your research

You could go online and buy everything from your list in a moment’s notice, or you could save some money by shopping around. A bit of online research is likely to save you some pretty big bucks at the checkout. Before you finalize that purchase, do your research to find out where the best place to buy each item is and get a sense of what it will cost.

Make a budget

Budgeting on a per-gift basis may sound like a time-consuming strategy, but costs add up quickly when you pay a little extra here or there, or you forget to put a person on your list. So take that list you made and assign costs to each gift, then total them up to get a comprehensive view of your budget before you head out the door. Seeing the total may change your mind on a few things.

Pay smart

You’re spending more than usual around the holidays, so why shouldn’t you get something back? Points cards are the perfect way to get a bit more out of your purchases, and many retailers aren’t taking cash these days anyway. If you’d rather not pay on credit and still want points, the PC Money Account has no monthly fees and earns 10 points per dollar on purchases anywhere. It even works online.