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Amanda’s Feed: It’s Beginning to Cost a lot like Christmas

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Amanda wants to live in a world where retirement security is no longer a dream. When she’s not nerding out on social media, you can find her exploring life through her motto, “live life like a curious child with a meticulous attention to details.” Her retirement goals are to travel and own a French vineyard. Happy saving #SaverNation

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December 18, 2015 at 8:44 am
Personal Finance

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‘Tis the season for last-minute holiday shopping, traveling and party planning. This time of year is always exciting, but what happens when the holiday cheer starts to fade and you’re stuck with the bill? Before you enter panic mode, check out the stories in this week’s Amanda’s Feed!

This installment focuses on out-of-the-box ideas for holiday gift-giving that can help you save money, invest it more wisely or spend it on things you actually need ­– anything from time with family to a college fund!

Do you have any unique holiday shopping hacks? Tweet me your answers @MadNerdist, and have a happy holiday season!

1) Be Money Smart: Ditch Holiday Gift Giving

 Did you know that the average American is planning to spend between $460 and $600 on family members’ holiday gifts? That can put a serious dent in your wallet, and prevent you from paying the necessary attention to your nest egg! That’s why, according to this article from MintLife, more people are embracing the idea of skipping the holiday gift-giving in favor of reallocating that money elsewhere. You can put the cash toward paying down debt, donating to those in need or finally booking that much needed family-bonding vacation. All of these options can help you avoid the obligation of gifting – and the risk that the recipients will want to return it!

2) How to Stick With Minimalism During the Holiday Shopping Season

 Financial obligations can stress people out year-round, but the added holiday shopping responsibilities tend to exacerbate our woes. This U.S. News and World Report article offers tips to help reduce the anxiety, hassle and clutter that inevitably come with this time of year. Try practicing conscious gift-giving, where you only spend money on gifts that are personalized and thoughtful. Another strategy is to only buy gifts, such as concert or event tickets, that allow you to spend more time with the people you love. If all else fails in your quest for minimalism, donating to a philanthropic cause can certainly help make your and others’ spirits bright.

3) Podcast: Top 5 Board Games to Learn About Money

 If holding out on gifts is not your style, there are still ways to have a financially responsible holiday season. This U.S. News and World Report podcast recommends purchasing fun financially themed board games (yes, they exist!) that can help your family learn about money while spending time together. Starting with basic math skills, and working up to more complicated concepts such as trading and negotiating, these games offer a unique way to incorporate important conversations and lessons about finance.