5 Tips to Save Money This Holiday Season

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday looked the recession beast in the eye and laughed this year. Online Black Friday sales alone jumped 26% over 2011 to over $1B.

Nevertheless, there’s still shopping to do. Keep your head, and follow these tips to potentially avoid a having a financial hangover in 2013:

1. Tax-Loss Harvesting: While not a shopping tip, selling losing positions in a taxable account prior to 2013 may provide you with a write-off on your 2012 taxes. Please speak with your tax advisor before proceeding.

2. Contribute to your 401K or Traditional IRA: Doing either of these (or both) may also provide you with 2012 tax savings by potentially lowering your adjusted gross income or providing you with a tax write-off. Speak to an advisor regarding your eligibility for 401K or a Traditional IRA tax benefits.

3. Negotiate Your Credit Card’s APR: Paying for gifts with your credit card and then forgetting to pay off the higher bill traps many people into having to pay interest on holiday purchases in 2013. It’s always ideal to pay off your credit card bill. But if you cannot (and if you’ve maintained good credit), call your credit card company to negotiate a lower rate.

4. Use Online Coupons: Higher online sales encouraged a new breed of online coupon sites that either give you instant savings or pay you back a percentage of what you purchased. Ebates.com is a leader in this space. You can also search for coupons before making a purchase. For example, if you’re buying flowers at Proflowers.com, search for “Proflowers Coupon” in Google or Yahoo! before completing your purchase.

5. There’s an App for That: Use your iPhone or iPad to scan for savings online while shopping at a brick-and-mortar store.  Amazon’s Price Check application is one of the more popular apps for doing this.

This holiday season can be joyful without the dark cloud of overspending creeping into 2013.  Continued happy holidays, my friends, and as always speak to a professional like Price Capital if you’re concerned about your finances.

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