Help for Holiday Spending

3 ideas that could help you save

The holiday shopping season is here and your wallet may already be feeling the pinch. Here are some ways to help you manage your money and spot the best bargains.

[RELATED: ValPak 2014 Holiday Survey: Consumers are Shopping Smarter]

Groupon: Sign up today to take advantage of the deals. This site gives all new meaning to the term “collective buying power.” Users receive daily updates on entertainment deals, restaurant specials, spa treatments, or some of their favorite retailers. Here’s the lowdown: Groupon guarantees businesses who promote on its site a minimum number of customers (for a fraction of each sale). But deals are only activated once that minimum number of customers reserves the purchase online. Geotargeting is how Groupon offers its hyper-local exclusive deals. According to TechCrunch, the site has saved consumers millions and claims it has generated millions in revenue for the businesses it features.

CreditSesame: The only thing worse than gaining holiday pounds is gaining holiday debt. CreditSesame.com allows users to track their spending, manage debt, create savings goals, and receive tips and updates on interest rate changes and how to save on loans. The site also provides tips on how to better manage your money. Like Mint.com, you fill in your loans and the interest rates, and the program takes into account the total cost of a suggested loan. If you’re working with an adjustable rate loan, the program will add in potential rate spikes and look for more feasible options.

GasBuddy: Don’t get taken advantage of with holiday gas prices. GasBuddy, available online, through Android and iTunes, alerts you to the lowest gas prices in your zip code. Instead of getting gouged by skyrocketing prices, find out who has the best deals. The app or site can be used in zip codes nationwide.