BOSTON (CBS) – Christmas is two weeks away. If you think it’s not going to happen at your house, you are not alone!

A recent survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling revealed that 37% of the respondents do not intend to spend any money on holiday purchases. And many others responded that they would cut spending.

That said; the survey was done on their website and I would think that usually someone is on a credit counseling website because they have concerns about their spending.  I did an informal survey around the studio and at church last weekend. Most people were planning to spend about the same or less than last year if they could.

Now we all want the holidays to happen especially if there are kids involved but if things are tight what can you do?

There are resources out there that will provide toys and presents for your kids. But you will have to ask. Our local food pantry, Loaves and Fishes, makes sure the kids and their parents have something to put under the tree.

Where can you find some extra cash this week? I went to my husband’s loose coin crock. Last year I found $60, not as much this year. Get some coin wrappers from the bank and wrap them yourself.

What gift cards do you have that have not been used? You can sell the gift cards or use them to buy gifts. If you have a restaurant card use it to take a friend out to lunch or dinner as a Christmas treat.

Cash in your frequent flyer miles or your credit card points. What can you get with them? You can convert your points into gift cards to such places like Panera Bread or Chili’s as well as the Gap or Macy’s or get a prepaid credit card.

So what have you got to sell? Try Craig’s list. You can shop there for Christmas gifts but you can sell your stuff there also. What have you got that you have wanted to get rid of?

Outgrown toys, clothes, furniture. Stuff that you no longer need or use. I would suggest pricing the stuff to sell quickly. There is a buyer for most everything. My son sold all of his used light bulbs after replacing everything in his home with energy efficient fluorescent bulbs.

Old gold jewelry can also produce some cash for you. What about those books that you read over the summer? Find a used bookstore or use Craig’s List.


You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

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