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Ten $1 Holiday Gift Ideas

Ten $1 Holiday Gift Ideas

Stumped on what to buy for someone on your holiday shopping list? Don’t feel you’re getting much value and budget options from retailers? The holidays don’t have to be all about who can spend or give the most. This year, my partner and I decided to change the way we did our holiday gift shopping. Instead of buying a few gifts and trying to somewhat match each other on total spend, we came up with a more transparent way to do things. We each agreed to a maximum $10 spending budget where all the items had to be purchased from a bargain shop. Why? Although we like getting gifts, we felt spending a non-trivial sum of money led to not only a potential waste if the recipient didn’t like or use the gift. It also created some pressure on finding ‘the perfect’ gift rather than a gift where the purpose was much simpler: to provide functional use and enjoyment, be it for minutes or years. Here is a list of 10 gift ideas which most bargain shops should sell for under $1.

1. Advent calendar

What better way to count down the December days then an advent calendar containing tasty little chocolates?

2. Mobile device accessories 

One can never have too many mobile device charger cables, $1 snags another one.

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3. Selfie stick

If you haven’t spent more than $10 already for one, you can get one for $1 now (Android and Apple compatible).

4. Neck pillow

Great for long-haul flights where you need something better than a thin airline pillow. A well-appreciated gift to add to anyone’s travel accessories.

5. Sunglasses 

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You can never have too many sunglasses. Gone are the days of needing to spend $20+ for a pair of decent shades. You can easily get a pair of UV protecting sunny specs for $1 and they come in dozens of styles. What’s not to love about that?

6. Foot care set

Peppermint lotion plus a few other foot care accessories all for the low price of $1. You’ll most likely buy at least one pampering set each year for someone and they will be 90% likely to pass it on to someone else and not use it anyway so why not save $20 and buy something for $1 instead?

7. Necklaces & earrings

Jewelry gifts are hit and miss. It’s easier for you or your partner to stomach a miss when it costs you $1 for a necklace or a pair of earrings rather than buying something unwanted that costs a lot more.

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8. Travel board games

Find travel-sized board games that are similar to all-time hits. Most end up keeping board games for eternity so someone in your family is guaranteed to use it at some point!

9. Socks and gloves

You don’t need designer labels to keep your hands and feet toasty in the winter. Anyone living in a cold climate will appreciate these goods as most socks and gloves seem to have minds of their own and randomly go missing. Show respect for sensibility and save yourself on sock or glove purchases by limiting your budget to $1 for these items.

10. Toys

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Don’t pay more for plastic then you can get away with. Believe it or not, $1 goes pretty far in getting a cool toy or toy set if you can figure out the types of things your gift recipient is into. I recommend something like a sheriff kit complete with badge, suction bullets, handcuffs and more (sure to please the little law enforcer in all of us).

Buying many lower cost gifts allows you to spread out your cash and get a variety of different items rather than just a handful. Also, gift receivers will appreciate opening more gifts. It’s always fun unwrapping another holiday surprise!

Happy bargain shopping all! If you’ve got any other great bargain ideas for $1 please share!

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Areion Azimi

Product Director at Sweet Startup

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Last Updated on April 3, 2019

How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

Debt is never a fun thing to be in. But, there are many actions that you can take that will help you rid yourself of the burden of debt once and for all.

By coming up with a set plan, eliminating your debt can feel much easier than constantly thinking about it.

This post will provide some tips on how you can do this to help you nix your credit card debt in less than 3 years.

Hint: there are ways that are easier than you think.

1. Consider Consolidating Multiple Credit Cards If Possible

This may not be applicable to you, but if you have multiple cards – it is something to consider. Keeping up with multiple bills is time consuming.

It will depend on the balance you have on each. Consolidate ones you can but do not do it to the point that you get too close to the maximum limit. Also, it is ideal to pick the card with the lower interest rate.

Consider if there are any fees or alternatively, rewards, with transferring a balance to another card. Watch out for fees. Note that some cards offer rewards for transferring a balance to them. This is extra cash that can help go towards paying off your debt.

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Having one or two cards can make nixing your debt much simpler than keeping up with the balance of a bunch of cards. Keeping track of paying the minimum towards a bunch of cards is time consuming. Spend the time to consolidate instead to make the overall process simpler going forward.

My tip: Have one main credit card. Have a second one that you use for necessities – such as groceries or gas – that offers rewards for those purchases (a lot of cards do) and set the second one on auto-pay. You should be able to pay off a smaller amount on auto-pay if it is a necessity. If you think you cannot, then you may need to cut down a lot on expenses.

Why do I suggest doing this? Having one thing set to auto-pay is one less thing to think about. One less thing to waste time on. Same idea with consolidating to one main card. Tracking down too many is a hassle.

2. Try to Pay the Full Balance You Spent Each Month at the Very Least

You need to pay off the amount you are spending each month when that bill comes in. This is the amount you spent THAT month.

Do not let the debt keep accruing while you work on paying any unpaid debt that has accrued. It will become a never-ending battle. Try as best as you can to be current on paying for each month’s expenses when that month’s bill comes out.

If this is a strain, consider why. You may need to cut expenses. Or you may need to consider other cards. Or look at where this money is going.

3. Pay Extra When You Can – Every Small Amount Counts

This cannot be emphasized enough. If you are looking at a lot of credit card debt, it can look daunting, but each extra amount that you can put towards the debt will really add up – no matter how small it is.

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It does not just reduce the principal amount that you have left to pay off, but it reduces the amount that is collecting interest. You will always save money with that reduced interest.

4. Create a Plan on How to Pay Extra

Back to the main point, having this plan is giving you one less thing to think about.

This plan should be a plan that works for you. If it does not work for you, your spending habits, and your views on debt, then it will not be an effective plan.

For instance, if a set plan of an extra $50 (or another amount that you know you can afford) works for you, then do that. Set that aside every month and pay that extra amount. Treat it like a bill. Choose an amount that works for you and pay it like clockwork as though it was a bill you had to pay each month.

Little amounts will not nix it entirely, but they will help tackle it and having a set plan can make it less of a chore. Creating a new plan of how much to put towards it each month is an unnecessary added stress.

5. Cut out Costs for Services You Do Not Use

If you are signed up for subscriptions that you do not use because of some free trial or for some other reason, cut it out. Your overall financial position will look better.

In turn, that will make cutting your credit card debt easier. Look at your statements to find these expenses. If you do not use them, you may forget you are paying some unnecessary amount each month. Cutting it out can really add up in savings that you can put towards other needed expenses.

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6. Get Aggressive About It

Consider these points:

Depending on the interest and the level of debt, you may need to give up a few indulgences. For example, instead of ordering delivery or going out to eat, cook at home. Everything adds up.

Other things may be more of a sacrifice. It may be a trip you wanted to go on, or a daily latte habit you’ve picked up. In these instances, consider how important it is to you and if it’s worth the sacrifice. And if it is a costly expense, think whether you can wait to indulge.

Cutting an extravagant expense can really help make a dent in your overall debt. Try not to add to debt when you are trying to pay it off. It will be a never-ending battle. Make it less of a battle with these tips and it will feel easier.

Bottom line: Do what you can to make this process easier for you. Implement steps that do this. It takes time now, but will help overall. Also, keep track of your spending and paying down of your debts. Which is the next point.

7. Reevaluate Your Progress at Set Intervals

Doing a regular check-in can help you see your efforts pay off or maybe indicate that you need to give this a bit more effort. If you check every 3-6 months, it will not feel so much like a chore or feel so daunting.

By doing this, you will be able to better understand your progress and perhaps readjust your plan. Bonus: if you see it pay off, it will feel great to do this check-in. You will get there.

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Finally (and most importantly)…

8. Keep Trying

Do not get discouraged. Pushing it off will make it worse. Just keep trying.

Once your debt becomes lower, each monthly payment will reduce the balance more. Why? You are paying less towards interest. It will be a snowball effect eventually and it will become much easier to manage. Just get to that point. And know once you do, it will feel easier and motivating.

Start Knocking out Your Debt Today

The best way to eliminate debt is to get started right away. Begin by implementing the above steps and watch your debt just melt away. Try out some of the above strategies and see what works best for you. Soon you’ll be on your way to a debt free life.

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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