Senior consumer analyst Vera Gibbons from GasBuddy.com has five easy methods to save hundreds in just a month!
Black Friday, the traditional launch of the holiday shopping season, is right around the corner. Time to set aside some money!
You’ll need lots of it. After all, a new report from NPD Group, a global information company, shows that consumers plan to spend 3% more this year over last -- an average of $636 on holiday-related expenses. www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/2016/glad-tidings-for-retailers-this-holiday-season/
Here are some painless ways to come up with that cash – and then some! – in just four weeks:
Adjust your tax withholding
Monthly Savings: $250
Millions of Americans get tax refunds every year and with refunds currently averaging nearly $3000, that’s $250 a month that you’re loaning to the IRS -- interest-free!
Have you been overpaying this year? Go to your company’s payroll office and fill out a new W-4 form. Claiming extra allowances pushes down your withholding and pushes up your take-home pay.
Once you make these changes, they will be reflected in your company’s next pay cycle.
Eat at home
Total savings by Black Friday: $233
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumers spend an average of just under $2,800 a year on dining away from home. That’s about $233 each month.
Avoid retail rip-offs
Monthly Savings: $100-$200
Among the many retail ‘rip-offs’: movie theater popcorn (which is marked up by as a much as 1300%!); wine you buy at restaurants (100%-200% markup on bottles; 300%-400% markup if you buy it by the glass); coffee (300% markup); and pre-cut fruits and vegetables, which cost 25-30% more than if bought whole.
Have someone else pay you first:
Monthly Savings: $100
Arrange to have your bank or credit union take a certain amount of money out of each paycheck and put it in your savings account, or in an account that you earmark as your own ‘holiday club,’ says
Food for thought: Just having $25 deducted from each weekly paycheck yields you an easy $100 in a month!
Change gas-buying habits
Monthly Savings: $40 A new survey from GasBuddy https://blog.gasbuddy.com/posts/GasBuddy-Reveals-Top-Money-Wasting-Habits-When-Buying-Gas/1715-650693-3792.aspx highlights the many ways our fuel-purchasing habits are costing us! Among the bad habits: filling up with expensive mid-grade or premium fuel even though our car doesn’t require it; filling up at stations that are convenient or at stations we think have best prices (when in fact they may not); and running on empty (If you wait until the gas light does on, chances are you’ll fill up at the nearest station—no matter the cost!).
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