The holidays are one of my favorite times of year because I love all the family photo cards. Okay, I don’t love the actual process of getting everyone ready, ordering the cards, and sending them out, but I do love having that keepsake from each season.

If it weren’t for the obligation to send Christmas cards, taking family photos may never get crossed off my to-do list. (I’m sure you can relate!) While I enjoy the finished result of holiday cards, it can be hard to swallow the price tag that comes with it. Between the photographer, ordering the prints, envelopes, and stamps, this usually costs several hundred dollars.

Here are some fun cost-cutting tactics you can use to produce quality holiday family cards, that you will cherish each season.

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Have you ever thought about where your spending habits come from? We all know that some of us have a hard time saving money, while others find it difficult or painful to spend their hard-earned cash.

Some of your money management style comes from your upbringing — the lessons your parents taught (or didn’t teach) you either by example or instruction.

What’s interesting, though, is that children often grow up with very different habits for handling money than their parents or siblings. Why is this? Well, essentially it’s because of the psychology of spending vs. saving.

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Thanksgiving is only two short weeks away, and the air is filled with anticipation of the official start of the holiday shopping season.

I’m obviously talking about Black Friday, when people stay up all night to get a shot at (self-proclaimed) once-a-year door-buster sales. I’ve heard people brag how large a percentage of their gift shopping they complete on that one magical day of sales.

But I honestly do not get it.

Black Friday is the pinnacle of impulse shopping. Huge crowds storm through the doors of countless retailers with the lure of getting their hands on a handful of unbelievable sales. While in the rush of the moment, people grab everything and anything that seems like a good sale in fear of missing out.

Sounds like a recipe for overspending, and buying a bunch of stuff we don’t need. I take a different approach to shopping for my Christmas gifts, and choose to enjoy my Thanksgiving holiday differently.

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Recently, I’ve been trying to phase out some of the big box stores where I can, and instead shop locally. Why? Because shopping locally has some great benefits.

Firstly, you’re putting money back into your own community and promoting local job growth. Secondly, you might be keeping a small, family owned business from the brink of bankruptcy. And lastly, you’re most likely getting a higher quality item.

The problem with shopping locally is that it can sometimes be more expensive. The bigger companies have the power to outsource their manufacturing overseas, buy in larger quantities, and get better prices. Local businesses don’t have these kinds of resources or power at their disposal.

It can be impossible to shop locally for everything, but with these 3 smart moves you can support your local economy and save yourself some money. Here’s how!

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I’m constantly asked to describe how I budget my money. When I talk about my budget, though, I refer to it as my “no budget” budget plan, or just a spending plan. This is because I don’t budget my money in what we often think of as the traditional way. I don’t have a list of categories, and I don’t start out my month by giving each dollar a job.

So how do I manage my money if I don’t practice traditional budgeting? Here is a quick peek at how I create a “no budget” spending plan.

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Your child’s Extra Academic Activities, or extracurricular activities, can be rather steep. On top of paying for regular school functions and events, these activities go above and beyond the normal curriculum. As a mother of two very athletic boys, I’ve spent my fair share of cash on sports programs and outings.

Thankfully though, I’ve discovered a handful of quick ways to save money. With sports especially, this is one area that many parents frequently overlook when trying to cut costs. Here are nine tips for saving money on extracurricular activities, without having to say “NO” to your kids.

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