Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

The Cost of Attending a Wedding in 2017

Posted on June 16, 2017 by Laura Lam

Wedding season is upon us.  According to theKnot.com, the average cost of a wedding in 2016 rose to an all-time high of $35,329.  But modern weddings aren’t just ultra-expensive for the happy couple, they’re actually a serious, wallet-emptying affair for guests as well. According to the Knot’s 2016 Wedding Guest Study, the average bridesmaid/groomsman spent just over $1,500 last year, while wedding guests spent $888.  Here’s a breakdown of the costs: Average bridesmaid and groomsmen spend per wedding: $1,154 Wedding gift spend: $177 Wedding attire: $207 Wedding travel: $342 Wedding accommodations: $293 Average wedding guest spend per wedding total: $888…

What to Buy in May

Posted on May 05, 2017 by Laura Lam

As warm weather moves in and the school year winds down, May is the time to prepare for summer celebrations. Stock up for graduation parties and Memorial Day barbecues with deals on household goods and entertaining essentials, among other bargains.  Here are this month’s steals and deals from Cheapism.com. Kitchenware – Cookware and small kitchen appliances are promoted heavily in May as retailers target college graduation and wedding season. Wrap up a set of pots and pans for a grad’s first apartment, or shower newlyweds with kitchenware that will last for years. For more discounts, keep an eye out for…

Luck of the Irish Will Bring “Gold” to Retailers

Posted on March 17, 2017 by Laura Lam

Americans will spend more than ever as they put on their favorite green outfits to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, the National Retail Federation said today. According to NRF’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, spending for St. Patrick’s Day is expected to reach $5.3 billion, an all-time high in the survey’s 13-year history. More than 139 million Americans plan to celebrate the Irish holiday, and are expected to spend an average of $37.92 per person, up from last year’s $35.37 and a new record that tops the previous record of $36.52 set in 2015. The $5.3…

Online Shoppers at Risk for Identity Theft

Posted on March 03, 2017 by Laura Lam

Fraud reached record highs last year, and online shoppers took the biggest hit. According to a recent report released by Javelin Strategy & Research, in 2016 fraud increased a staggering 40% for identity card-not-present (CNP) transactions. With Americans now making 51% of purchases online, that increase in online identity theft is especially concerning. EMV chip cards have helped.  Chip cards are more secure than magnetic stripe cards during in-person transactions. Chip cards have eliminated the ability for criminals to counterfeit cards and use them in person at brick and mortar retailers, because the chips and new card readers work together to create…

What to Buy in January

Posted on January 06, 2017 by Laura Lam

Have you spent too much on Christmas presents? Are holiday gift cards burning a hole in your pocket? Either way, frugal shoppers will find plenty of bargains in January, although some things should be put on the “wait” list.  Here are this month’s steals and deals from Cheapism.com. BUY: CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY ITEMS – Prices on holiday-themed goods take a dive immediately after Christmas and continue to fall throughout January. By early in the month, prices should be at least half off, albeit on a dwindling selection. Still, it’s worth stocking up on holiday wrapping paper, ornaments, cards, and the like to…

Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

Posted on December 23, 2016 by Laura Lam

During the holiday season, words like “values”, “impact”, and “empathy” feel especially relevant. People across the economic spectrum feel drawn to giving back to their communities and the causes that matter to them. But during this busy time of year, translating good intentions into action can feel overwhelming.  How can we really make a difference? A Desai Foundation study found that people were not sure how to give, when to give, or how much to give. The “giving” phenomenon is often wrapped up in monetary donations and recognition, but we forget that giving is really about service. And we can all…

2016 Holiday Tipping Guide

Posted on December 16, 2016 by Laura Lam

The holiday season is traditionally the time Americans choose to thank those who provide them with year-round services. It’s important to remember that holiday tipping is truly about saying thank you. With a little creativity you can accommodate everyone on your list this year without blowing your budget. Here are some things to consider when you’re deciding how to thank people, whom you will spend money on, and how much you will spend: Your budget: You shouldn’t feel obligated to go beyond your personal budget. If your budget does not allow for tips, consider homemade gifts; and if you’re not…

The Cost of the ’12 Days of Christmas’ in 2016

Posted on December 13, 2016 by Laura Lam

Have you ever wondered how much each of those gifts mentioned in tune would cost your true love?  PNC released its annual Christmas Price Index and it showed that prices for items from the Christmas carol “The 12 Days of Christmas” rose by 0.7% from last year. That’s slightly up from the 0.6% pace in 2015. The cost of everything on the list, from the partridge to the drummers, totaled $34,363.49, an increase of a few hundred dollars from last year. But as the carol goes, all of the gifts except the drummers are counted multiple times, bringing the cost up to…

Mindful Money: Keep Your Holiday Spending in Check

Posted on December 09, 2016 by Laura Lam

The overflowing expectations around the holidays can entice us to spend more than we can afford. Not only do we have bills to face once the decorations are put away, but 43% 0f respondents to an Experian survey say extra expenses also make the holidays hard to enjoy.  Now’s the time to plan so your December spirit doesn’t lead to January bills. Five finance experts on frugality what they do to avoid holiday overspending. Recognize your triggers Donna Freedman, author of “Your Playbook for Tough Times,” says you need to recognize your spending triggers. Are you trying to make the holidays…

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Online Sales Top Forecasts

Posted on November 28, 2016 by Laura Lam

Black Friday’s blockbuster online sales don’t appear to have come at Cyber Monday’s expense.  As of 10 a.m., retail websites had raked in $540 million on the reigning champion of digital shopping days. That level of spending puts Cyber Monday on pace to reach a record $3.36 billion, on growth of 9.4%, according to Adobe Digital Insights. The firm’s update comes fresh off the heels of a larger-than-expected lift in Black Friday online revenue, which some had worried might eat into Cyber Monday’s sales. Digital revenue on Black Friday rose 21.6% to $3.34 billion, easily topping Adobe’s forecast for $3.05…