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Tips to Stay on Budget This Holiday Season

I was asked by Carusele to participate in the #GreenDotCards at Walgreens campaign, sponsored by Green Dot Corporation. Although I was paid for this, all opinions are my own.

Let’s face it: the holidays can be EXPENSIVE! Every year I make a budget for my holiday shopping and every year  I’ve gone over my budget. But THIS year, I’m determined to stick to my budget and wanted to share a few great tips that can help us all stay within budget this holiday season!

1. Make a List

Obvious right? Make a list of every single person you are going to buy a gift for. And don’t forget to list the people who will receive holiday tips as well…like your doorman, babysitter, or mail carrier. Be specific about what you think they’d like and how much it will cost.

2. Set a Budget

One of the easiest ways to make sure you stay on budget is to limit how much you spend on gifts. The key to having a budget for your holiday spending is to create a budget and limits that you are willing to stick to. So after you make your list, look at the amount of money you have to spend and create individual budgets for each person on your list. Make a commitment to how much you want to spend on each person, and be prepared to stick to it.

3.  Try Green Dot’s new non-reloadable Load & Go™ Prepaid Visa® Card

budget this holiday season with load and go prepaid cards



Confession: Some years, I’ve made a list, set a budget and STILL overspent! That’s why this year, I’m using Green Dot’s NEW Load & Go™ Prepaid Visa® Card for all of my holiday shopping. You can get one yourself at your local Walgreens store in the Reloadable Prepaid Cards section.

Green Dot’s new Load & Go Prepaid Visa Card is so simple to use! You can use it literally right after you buy it, no registration required. That means all you have to do is load your Christmas budget on it and shop until your budget is done. You can pay as you go and there are no monthly fees (unless you don’t use the card for 12 months). Plus, you can use it to shop online or even check your balance and transactions too.


4. Use the 4 gift rule for your kids

In the ever-growing world of kids preferring electronics as gifts, your budget can be blown by your child’s wish list. Instead of letting them go crazy, you can get your kids something:

  1. They want
  2. They need
  3. They can wear
  4. They can read

Sticking to this alone will help you stick to your budget and save money this holiday season.

5. Do a gift exchange

Gift exchanges are great if you have a family like mine. We decided to start doing this about 15 years ago as our extended family continued to grow. It’s one thing if you have 5 or 10 people to buy gifts for, but buying gifts for more than 20 people can be a different beast. Your budget can be decimated when you have that many people to keep track of.


Remember that this time of year is not about overexerting yourself in the name of the holidays. By sticking to these tips, you should be able to enjoy this season of giving and staying on budget this holiday season!


Do you have any tips for saving during this holiday spending season?





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I have a bad spending habit. I often go on spending much amount of money than expected. These tips sound helpful, particularly about that prepaid visa card.