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How To Avoid Breaking The Bank This Holiday Season

Thanksgiving has come and gone and you're already worried about the next holiday, where showing gratitude for your family and friends comes at a cost.

For those of us Gen-Yers who like to think ahead, the thoughts of a dwindling bank account marks the beginning of a stress-induced breakdown at a time that should be marked by jolly thoughts and happy smiles.

Worried about upcoming holiday expenses? Here are a few resources to help prevent going completely broke this time of year:

Use Ebates

If you don't know what Ebates is, then you need to do your research immediately. This company essentially gives you cash back for shopping online. Yes, real cash is deposited directly into your PayPal account. All it takes is logging into your free Ebates account, searching for the store you plan to shop from, and clicking “Shop Now.”

The site will track your visit all the way through to payment, and you will receive the specified percentage back on your total. Plus, Ebates lists online coupons and deals going on for any specific brand, so you can even score an extra discount.

While a two percent cash back rate on a $200 order doesn't seem like much ($4.00), if you do it for every online purchase you make this holiday season, it will add up to a pretty impressive amount. Each brand denotes a different cash back percentage and occasionally offers “double cash back” on special dates, so you can make good on the deals.


Check It Twice

For chronic online shoppers like myself, you're already familiar with and use RetailMeNot.com to score as many discounts as you possibly can. Now, if you took my above advice and are using Ebates.com, you already have these special promo codes and coupons available to you!

But because we're all about saving money and getting the biggest discounts, we have to make sure that RetailMeNot isn’t offering a better coupon code, based on the trusty reviewers whose hard job it is to vote on the legitimacy and expiration of codes. So if you have the time and energy, quickly double check RetailMeNot for the store you're browsing. Then, you can click “Order” with the peace of mind that you got the best possible deal.


Hukk It

This site is perfect for your pre-purchase browsing. Register for free with Hukkster.com and the company installs a little icon on the top of your Internet browser. As you virtually shop around for a knickknack your Aunt Debbie would like, a tie for your dad or shoes for yourself, you can click the icon to “Hukk” it into your account. What exactly is “hukking?”

Basically, you're pinning the item onto a list and saving it for later. But behold, this is not just a “Wish List” site! Hukkster.com will actually notify you when this particular item has gone on sale. So you get a nifty email that the $130 tie you wanted to buy dad is now on sale for $89, and boom! You just saved yourself money and the time it would take to find that deal elsewhere.

There's no guaranteed way to avoid breaking the bank during Christmas, but the above sites can at least provide some cushion while you spoil your loved ones. Then maybe you can worry a little less about your credit card bill and enjoy what Christmas is really about!

Photo credit: Shutter Stock

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Angelina Zeppieri

Contributor

Angelina is a contributing writer based in NYC with a focus on travel, hotels, wine and food. You can usually find her on a yoga mat, working at Quinn, or off on a new adventure. Follow her on Instagram @angelina.zeppieri
Angelina is a contributing writer based in NYC with a focus on travel, hotels, wine and food. You can usually find her on a yoga mat, working at Quinn, or off on a new adventure. Follow her on Instagram @angelina.zeppieri

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