It feels so weird to be listening to Christmas music and seeing holiday decorations everywhere, but I guess it is November already, so it’s just about that time. I was amazed to see candy canes in the store this weekend. The other decorations have been out for months, but when the candy canes show up, you know the holidays are on their way.
I’ve talked a bit about holiday spending and ways to keep your budget down (handmade gifts! gift certificates for services like babysitting or cooking a homemade dinner!) but I recently got an e-mail from Andre at Offers.com who pointed me to some great features that Offers.com has put together to help you with your holiday spending.
The first feature is a great little Holiday Budget Calculator. I really love this calculator, because it includes everything. Not just gifts, but cards and wrapping, decorations, and travel. While I really should do this, I never include my holiday travel in my holiday budget. Possibly because for the past two years, I’ve bought tickets around six months before Christmas. So that money is long gone by the time November rolls around.
The other thing that I really like is the Math Cheat Sheet. This is the sort of thing that I want to print out and put in my purse. It takes the price of an item and shows you the price if the item is on sale for 15% off, 20% off, and so on, all the way up to 75% off. Now yes, you can always do this sort of math in your head or on your cellphone calculator, but this is a great way to get a quick estimate of the sale price of an item. It’s also a good way to determine whether checking out a sale is worth it or not. 20% off sounds like a good sale, but depending on how much you’re planning to spend, you might not really be saving much at all.
They’ve got a whole holiday shopping section, so check it out. You can even check out the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals! Tragically (well, not so tragically), I will be working on Black Friday, so no sales for me. Considering how much I hate crowded stores, that’s not too much of a sacrifice!