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5 Ways to Treat Your Family (and yourself) and Save Money This Holiday

· holidays,money,family,travel,gifts

(BPT) - The holidays are a cheerful time of year, but the season also comes with increased spending - from purchasing gifts to holiday gatherings and travel. And, while most are shopping for gifts for others, recent research shows that more than half of shoppers are also buying for themselves, adding further to the shopping list. There's no better time than now to plan for holiday gift shopping in order to scoop up the best deals.

Commit to doing the holidays differently this year with some quick season's saving tips, so you can treat yourself and your loved ones without breaking the bank!

1. Hold a secret gift exchange: Encouraging a secret gift exchange is a fun, festive way to embrace the spirit of giving, while curbing your spending. A gift exchange requires you to shop for only one person, so you can spend more time focusing on the perfect present. Using your smartphone to research gift ideas based on the recipient's interests is a great way to give something meaningful. You'll have a blast guessing who gave what when it comes time to exchange gifts as a group!

2. Get a jump start on savings: To get some of the season's best deals, plan ahead. Have your eyes on a certain item? Invest time in advance of the holidays to seek out the biggest sales. It's never too early to start comparing online and in-store deals for that special treat. Keeping tabs on prices on your smartphone can help you stay organized while shopping.

3. Get the latest and greatest for less: The latest electronics top holiday lists every year, but the price tag on a new smartphone shouldn't stop you from treating yourself, or others. With Straight Talk Wireless, enjoy savings on the latest smartphones, like the iPhone XS, and 50 percent more high-speed data with the unlimited $35 and $45 plans, making staying connected to loved ones easier than ever this holiday season. This means you could give the gift of unlimited talk, text and data with 3GB at high-speed (versus 2GB) for $35 per month, or 15GB of high-speed data (versus 10GB) for $45 per month with the purchase of a new phone.

4. DIY the holidays: Holiday events can come at an expense, but no one wants to miss out on the festivities. Instead of splurging on crowded organized activities, consider embracing the holiday spirit from the comfort of your home. From a day of cookie baking and decorating to sprucing up holiday decorations or a seasonal movie marathon, there is no shortage of ways to celebrate at home with family and friends. Be sure to capture photos of your DIY activities on your smartphone and share them on social media for others to see!

5. Carpool caroling: Travel expenses are no small cost. Look to carpool with friends and family whenever possible to save money and maximize time together. And if you're feeling extra festive, stream your favorite holiday tunes and movies from your smartphone on the way.

The holidays are a time to treat not only your friends and family, but also yourself! With these simple ideas for planning ahead and staying connected, you'll be able to get something special for everyone on your list and come out on top. For more information and ways to save, visit StraightTalk.com.

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