11/16/2011 5:26 PM ET|
7 biggest holiday money wasters
5. Gift cards
About 7% of the amount spent on gift cards isn't redeemed each year, which means Americans are sitting on about $30 billion in unused gift cards, according to the gift card exchange site Plastic Jungle. Now that's a waste.
Why not just give cash? At least you'll know that will get spent, and you're not limiting the recipient's options. You're also not subjecting the recipient to the various fees that come with prepaid cards, which are often marketed as gift cards that can be used anywhere.
If you don't like the idea of giving cash, you should rethink giving a gift card, which is basically just plasticized cash. It really isn't any classier than the real green stuff.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
THE BIGGEST MONEY WASTERS IS CONGRESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Liz is assuming that everyone has a family that has so much fun when they are together. My family needs a great meal with neatly wrapped packages!
I will always "over spend " on my holiday meals. Even if its the difference between 50 and 100 dollars, i would rather spend the extra 50 on a great meal with everyone's favorites. In the long run the 50 bucks isn't that much (although if you don't have it, you don't have it). We don't drink alcohol so the only real expense is the meat (turkey or ham). I buy a lot of my stuff at Costco so even the nuts are reasonable. Mash potatoes, stuffing, gravy and a lot of other things are dirty cheap if you make them from scratch and cutting up your own veggies saves a lot of money too.
I do agree with staying out of Xmas pools, secret santas and the like. My family had gone with a gifts only for those in high school or younger. I am an adult, if i need something i will buy it myself.
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Even those who don't like to shop are probably hitting the stores this month. Here's what to be on the lookout for and here's what to avoid.