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Holiday bonus: How to survive holidays on limited budget

Right around this time of year, the financially and cash strapped seek shelter from the holiday barrage of shopping and one sale after another, and begin to contemplate exactly how you're going to pull off that gift list with a checking account in peril and a non existent savings backup.
But alas, the pending season of joy doesn't have to be all gloom and doom for those who don't have the capital in reserve to comfortable buy gifts and ring in the new year all in the same breath. Your lack of funds most likely is related to poor spending that started many holiday seasons ago or perhaps an emergency purchase that wiped you out earlier this year.
Then again, you might just not be that great with money, either.
Regardless of the circumstances that got you here in the first place, the goal moving forward is finding extra cash so that your next move isn't one you'll regret: like hitting the credit card hard and only putting yourself further behind the proverbial eight ball.
You might consider this holiday season the one where you give up your nights and weekends and start thinking about applying for a seasonal job. Retailers gobble up any able body they can get their hands on for the next two months, and if you really set your sights correctly you can earn a decent piece of change, certainly plenty of money to fulfill that holiday wish list and then some. The pay per hour isn't great but it beats the alternative of charging your way through the new year.

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One money saving holiday tip that often goes overlooked is doing more things around the house or even holiday related chores on your own. That do it yourself mentality doesn't always have to be saved for spring cleaning or summer outdoor work. You might take the months leading up to the holidays to cut back on expenses that you often take for granted.
Still paying for snow removal?
How about that expensive, fake tree you buy every year?
Holiday decorations still part of your budget?
Shoveling snow yourself could save you a few hundred bucks and even if November and December aren't terrible weather months, think about the money you'll be able to recuperate for the entire winter, even after the holidays. That few hundred dollars you're spending on that new, plastic tree could go right back in your pocket if you let your inner Clark Griswold out and cut down your own tree. Even a real one is going to be about half the cost of a fake one.
As for those decorations, three simple words come to mind: make your own.
These holiday savings tips aren't the most glamorous or grand, but they'll accomplish the goal of getting you from adding to your debt before you even have a chance to utter "save more money" as your New Year's Resolution.

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