TODAY | November 26, 2012
>>> this morning on "today's money," seven simple ways to escape the holiday debt-free. with the gift shopping season in full swing easy to get lured in by store sales and cyber monday deals you can talk about, but you can still spread a little cheer without overspending. we have the editor-in-chief of "essence" magazine. constance, thanks for being here.
>> great to be here.
>> how do we pull the stress out of the holidays?
>> we always want to remember the holidays are about joy, joy.
>> sad we have to remind people.
>> so you want to minimize the stress and, therefore, you want to maximize all the savings because, of course, spending can be a source of stress. women have so much going on around the holidays, we're planning, we're having relatives and friends over. we're shopping . we're cooking, and so take a moment and relax.
>> all right. we've got some ways you can do that.
>> let's start with preparing a spending plan. how do you do that?
>> you've got to get that binder, get that tablet, whatever it is. write down a list of everyone who you want to get gifts for and then a lot a budget to each one and stick to it. so once you get that in place, that's really the beginning of it all. i hear so many women say i go out and i start shopping , shopping , shopping with no idea who they are shopping for and how much they want to spend so that's number one.
>> seems like after you have that done, start looking for some deals, coupons, a lot out there, free shipping, things like that.
>> snip the coupons, download the coupons, a big source of savings, and in shipping look for the retailers that are offering, brick or mortar, online, retailers offering free shipping and there's a free shipping day, december 17th .
>> that's good to know.
>> and right up to the next holiday christmastime free shipping from a lot of retailers go, to freeshipping.org to check that out or check in with your favorite retailer.
>> a lot of technology at our fingertips whether it's facebook or twitter. using social media can actually save you money.
>> be social. that's what it's for. follow people online, friends on line or just strangers who are your online friends, and they will point to you great deals, whether you're on facebook or twitter or foursquare, you can find great deals and a lot of retailers these case have their own social media pages. go to them and see where the deals are.
>> and you can save a little on the back end down the road by using the rewards that come with the credit cards . a lot of people don't think that way, but if you use the right card you can make up the money later.
>> take american express , for example, use your membership rewards . you have -- you have accumulated from american express towards shopping , and put away the credit card . credit card is a great source of pain and social scientists have said credit cards help separate us from the pain of shopping . you want that pain right there so you know what you're spending.
>> immediate pain is better than prolonged pain.
>> a couple quick ones, start early. i don't know if people think about this one. get to the store before it opens essential
>> i not just a ruse for shopping online . a lot of retailers put out their best deals early in the morning . plus, you save yourself time and stress battling the crowds, so in the morning is a great time to go out and shop.
>> and use some cash when you get out to do it is another one.
>> use that cash. it's very important. double up on discounts. you can go online an get discounts, and then, for example, at macy's, take that card to a customer appreciation day and you've got double the discounts.
>> the holidays are about joy, right?
>> about joy, and please remember to relax. do your spa day or spa time at home for yourself.
>> sounds good. constance white with "essence" magazine.
>> good to see you.