Save your cash!
How I Pay for Christmas Using Rewards Points
by Melanie Toye
Avoiding Holiday Debt
10 Steps to Zap Holiday Stress
Christmas is stressful and it really shouldn't be. It's a magical time for children. Yet with the stress of spending for the family and extended family, it can get overwhelming. This is especially true in January when the credit card bills surface. Instead of starting the New Year with a feeling of renewal, you are stressed out even more due to the splurge at Christmas. I have found that I don't have to dig into my savings by getting Christmas gifts from my reward points:
1. Credit Card Reward Points
My husband has a business. He uses his business credit card to purchase products. He then sells the product and pays back his credit card on a monthly basis. Because he uses his credit card every month, he gets rewarded for using it.
These rewards pay for our Christmas gifts. Here's how it happens. My husband can earn from 1,000 to 10,000 each month in reward points. By December, we generally have about $600 in gift cards that we can use at Christmas. I then go to those selected department stores and buy gifts.
You might not have a business credit card, but check the rewards system for your personal credit card. As long as you immediately pay for your expenses, you can use your credit card to pay for the weekly groceries, fuel, or to purchase online goods. Credit cards can be quite useful if you don't overspend and always pay it back.
2. Grocery Reward Points
I also have a rewards program for every time I buy groceries. However, it's not as great in the rewards department, but after 12 months of building points, I can order a $100 gift card. If I give each person a $50 gift, I can buy two gifts. That is a total of $700 for Christmas. It all adds up.
During the end-of-year sales in June is when I go sale hunting for Christmas. I don't buy all the Christmas gifts. Instead, I only buy items that are on sale. For instance, I buy toys that are reduced by 50-75%. I buy all my nieces and nephews and even my own children their Christmas gifts in June. Yes, I do need to find a place to store them, but I spend a lot less by doing this. I can spend less overall on my Christmas budget or I can spend the same amount I normally would and get more value for my money.
4. Coke Rewards
Another way to earn Christmas gifts is through Coke Rewards. I personally don't drink soda, but my husband does and his favorite is Coke. He drinks about four bottles per week. With Coke Rewards, I get about eight or more gifts a year, depending on the amount of points I use for a particular gift. Rewards are always changing but can range from magazine subscriptions to gift cards and more. I have actually found that because of the rewards, I select more exciting gifts than I would have if I had to pay cash for them.
Don't forget to use the ebates cash back site and receive cash back on all of your purchases.
You may not be able to buy all of your Christmas gifts from rewards, but even if you get half of the Christmas gifts without digging into your savings, surely that's better than using all your savings. Perhaps, you can use that for a well-deserved Christmas holiday instead. Now you no longer have to stress about funding Christmas and you get to enjoy the holiday season. Let's toast to Christmas.
Melanie Toye is author of eleven adult and children's fiction and non-fiction books.
Take the Next Step:
- Visit the TDS library for more holiday budgeting and spending tips.
- From food to family to fun, save on every aspect of your holiday with The TDS Frugal Holiday Guide.
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We're still paying off last Christmas and worry how we'll afford the holidays this year without charging it again! Tell us: Yes, we could use help getting out of the debt trap we're in! or No, debt is not a problem for us but I'm always looking for ways to trim my family's expenses further!