Saving Money During the Holidays

Saving Money During the Holidays

It doesn't seem like it is possible, but you can save money during the holidays! To help us out we spoke with digital lifestyle expert, Carley Knobloch who teamed up with Capital One 360 to share some great tips to help us survive the holiday splurge by keeping their spending in check and their savings on track:

Momtrends: Favorite Apps for saving money over the holidays

Carley Knobloch: Slice— an app that will scan your email inbox and track all of your packages, which is brilliant, since I do so much online shopping during the holidays I tend to lose track! It will also let you know if there have been any price adjustments to stuff you've ordered so you can get some holiday dough back.

CardStar— If you don't want to carry a wallet that looks like a 10 pound burrito, but you still want to take advantage of points and deals you get from those loyalty cards, you'll scan them all into CardStar and travel lightly. Once your loyalty cards are in, CardStar will even tell you about the latest coupons.

RetailMeNot— No more clipping and searching for coupons. With the RetailMeNot app you are always sure you're getting the best deal, because the coupons come to you... sometimes automatically when you walk into participating stores. Talking about taking the work out of it! Search for coupons from 50,000 stores.

Momtrends: Making the most of credit card rewards during the holidays?

I think the key is to squirrel your rewards away all year so they're at your disposal during holiday time. I'm always traveling east to see relatives so it's great to use them to book travel at this time of year. Plus, you could use them to buy gifts too, stretching your holiday budget. Many credit cards have special holiday shopping rewards, so it's great to know thyself— where do you shop most often during the holidays (Amazon, I'm looking at you!), and can you get a credit card that gives you extra perks there during the holiday season? It's worth looking into!

Momtrends: Possible to save during the holidays?

Carly: Yes! You just have to know how to do it! One easy way is to automate your savings, such so that you're pulling money out of your checking account each week or month to add to your nest egg – Capital One 360’s online tools make this super easy. Even better, you can create sub accounts for different savings goals, like "Holiday Gifts" or "First House Down Payment", so you know exactly what you’re saving for and can stay motivated. Capitol One 360 has great apps that will send you alerts as you reach milestones on your savings goals. All of these tools together are great ways to save throughout the year, but especially at holiday time when everyone is busy spending.

Another way to make savings easier is to make it fun! For example, this holiday season, Capital One 360 wants you to get creative and share what you’re saving for. You can go to their website at and upload a picture that represents what you’re saving for or tweet using the hashtag #Saving4 and tell them your savings goals that way. Every day they’re giving $500 away on each channel from now through December 20th. Plus, a huge grand prize of $25,000 will be awarded at the end of the contest to one lucky winner. Talk about jumpstarting your savings! I find that it always helps to put a name to what you’re saving for – rather than just creating one big fund. Identifying if you’re saving for a new renovation or a family vacation is much more manageable than the sometimes overwhelming concept of saving on a broader scale.

Momtrends: How much money should go into savings during the holidays?

Carly: I wish there was a magic number! I think the key is to know what you can afford when it comes to gifts, to be really honest with yourself, and to budget. Capitol One 360 has a great tool called "My Savings Goals" that allows you to calculate how much money you'll need to save each week or month in order to reach a goal by a specific time. Imagine if, in January, you decided you wanted to save up $600 by November to spend on holiday shopping. My Savings Goals then will tell you how much to save, a little bit at a time, each month so that you have reached your goal by then. I think it's great to stretch yourself as much as possible, but of course you need to be clear on what your living expenses are, and not save so much that you're ”cash flow poor”. It's all about balance, and being real about the number.

Momtrends How do you create a holiday budget?

Carly: I've been using Quicken for years to manage my personal finances, but to be honest, most of us don't need such robust software, and if I was starting today, there are great mobile apps that help you create budgets and manage your money a lot more nimbly while you're on-the-go. I like Spendee— it's a frictionless, beautiful app interface that gives you your financial big picture and you can use it to see where your money's going (dining? entertainment? shoes?) and easily create a budget (and stick to it).

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