FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM DECEMBER 6, 2018 • HOLIDAY GUIDE • THE QUEENS COURIER 69
Busted: 5 of the biggest holiday myths
Holiday fantasies are not just for children.
Simple ways to get your budget on track this holiday season
Americans will have lots to celebrate
this holiday season, with unemployment
rates at an all-time low and consumer
confi dence on the rise. According to
Th e Annual Retail Sales Forecast for the
Holiday Season from Deloitte, retailers
have their sights on sales of more than
We all get caught up in the spirit of giving,
yet the most wonderful time of year
is also one of the most stressful fi nancially.
But holiday spending doesn’t have to
break the bank - a little planning can let
you enjoy and be merry.
Here’s a checklist to get started:
Budget for big purchases
• Credit cards: Divide up the big-ticket
items. Buy them across several off -season
months and pay your balance in
• Free shipping: Some online retailers
off er free shipping with orders over a
certain amount. In late December, some
retailers have been known to off er free
shipping days with guaranteed delivery
• Delayed fi nancing: Look for store credit
card promotions that off er low interest
rates or delayed fi nancing on large purchases.
Pay it down over time without
• Online tools: Struggling to budget
alone? Explore online services like
Nummo, which can help you consolidate
your accounts and keep track of
your fi nances.
Save with coupons and deals
• Save: Th ere’s always the old-fashioned
way of saving a little money each month
throughout the year, and then spending
what you’ve saved. Or save in advance
for the more expensive items.
• Credit cards: Redeem credit card points
for gift cards you can use for your holiday
shopping; alternatively, off er up
specifi c store gift cards as a present.
• Delayed off ers: Retailers are tracking
what you do online, and oft en if
you leave something in your shopping
cart, the retailer will come back with
a reminder followed by a discounted
• In-store shopping days: Black Friday
has always been a big shopping day,
so you might want to ask your favorite
retailers what they have planned
ahead of time. Some big-box retailers
begin their Black Friday promotions
on the Wednesday before, with extended
store hours, and might even be open
on Th anksgiving. Also, don’t forget to
shop local on Small Business Saturday -
your favorites stores may have the best
• Online shopping days: Online retailers
off er signifi cant discounts on days
like Cyber Monday and Small Business
Buy now, pay later
• Credit card rates: If you are going to
apply for a new card, check introductory
off ers for rates, balance transfer
opportunities and delayed fi nancing
• Store credit cards: Oft en when you
open a card at checkout, you receive
a discount on your entire purchase.
Store cards also off er coupons and deals
throughout the holiday season if you
use your store credit card. Th at said,
make sure not to keep a balance for
long, as store credit cards can have
higher interest rates.
Holiday spending still causing you
stress? Th e experts at Nummo can help
you manage, maintain and improve your
fi nancial health for the holidays and
It turns out grownups actually celebrate
the holidays living by their own set
of myths, and they probably don’t even
If all the holiday prep and bustle is giving
your inner Grinch a migraine, you
may fi nd yourself in very good company!
A recent Coinstar survey, conducted
among 2,000 adults by Atomik Research,
uncovered some of these hidden attitudes
toward the holidays.
Th e fi ndings revealed truths behind the
following fi ve myths we oft en cling to
when it comes to the holiday season.
Myth No. 1: Regifting
is in poor taste
Many people have a secret stash tucked
into drawers and stuff ed way back into
closets: Presents from the past they don’t
really want but the guilt is too strong to let
them go. If you think regift ing is a tacky
solution to lightening the load, here’s
a good secret you should know. Nearly
two-thirds of us (65 percent) do it anyway,
according to the survey. So if you
can picture your aunt’s wide grin when
she sees that over-the-top holiday sweater,
by all means, wrap it up and give it to
her. She’ll commend you for your excellent
taste and your holiday budget will
also give a tiny gasp of relief.
Myth No. 2: Sticking to a holiday
budget is just too hard
Aft er past failures to make a holiday
budget, you decided it’s just easier to
close your eyes and dive into a credit
coma until January. Because it’s impossible
to keep up with the unexpected extras
that keep popping up: added gift s, events,
replacement decorations, holiday attire
and food. Here’s a reality check. Some 68
percent of people stick to a holiday budget.
Maybe past failures can be chalked up
to not having enough information to create
a good plan. Look back on last year’s
bank and credit card statements to help
you make a better plan for this year.
Myth No. 3: Adding spare
change to your budget
doesn’t add up
Th ese days, you think pocket change
won’t even cover the cost of a cup of coffee.
Which is why you may not be in the
habit of counting on your change to fi ll
out your holiday budget. Remember this:
Most people who cash in spare change
have more than they think, and according
to the survey that’s about $78 on average.
So don’t discount the power of pocket
change. Grab a container and explore
the nooks and crannies of your house just
to see what you fi nd. Check handbags, car
consoles, spare change jars, dresser drawers
and sofa cushions. With this new cash
stash, you can easily knock out an item or
two on your budget.
Myth No. 4: Spending time
with family is what the
holidays are all about
No better occasion than the holidays to
spend quality time with your family, eating
a delicious meal, followed by opening
gift s in the soft glow of the fi replace and
twinkling lights. If picturing your extended
family in this idyllic holiday scene is
more than a stretch of the imagination,
you’re not alone. One in fi ve people say
they’d rather bow out of the family celebration.
In fact, they’d prefer to spend
time with friends, be alone or go to work.
But for those who enjoy family time, holidays
are perfect for making new memories.
Myth No. 5: Gift-giving
comes from the heart
Ideally, every single gift is a pure expression
of love and generosity from the
giver, right? Wrong. You probably have
a competitive gift giver in your group.
And maybe it’s even you! One quarter of
Americans confessed to getting into an
altogether diff erent kind of holiday spirit
when it comes to buying presents. Th ey
want to be the one behind the most talked
about, fl ashiest or best gift at the gathering.
Whatever the motivation, keep on
Now that you know the truth behind
some common holiday myths, give your
holiday spending power a boost by visiting
the nearest Coinstar kiosk. Cash in
your extra change for cash or a no-fee
eGift card for well-known retailers and
get more gift s crossed off your holiday