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Money Too Tight To Mention?

Benjamin Franklin
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Jackson Browne once said, “I’m gonna be a happy idiot and struggle for the legal tender. Where the ads take aim and lay their claim to the heart and the soul of the spender.”  Well, the ads are everywhere and every retailer wants your dollar this year.

If you are or know someone who is struggling with money a little bit, or would like to start saving money, here are some Christmas gifts to give (or ask for) this holiday season (from Reader’s Digest):

1. Filtered Water Bottle – If you know someone who exclusively drinks bottled water, this could save them hundreds of dollars per year. The filtered water bottle purifies regular tap water while you drink from it and they’re only about $15 at Target.

2. Energy Saving Power Strip – TV’s, computers and other fancy electronic gadgets suck a lot of power, even when they’re turned off. There’s one specific power strip called the Belkin Energy Saver that prevents that drawing of power even when everything is powered off. They retail for about $30, which can be kind of spendy for a power strip, but it can lead up to some serious annual savings for the person who gets it.

3. Electronic Thermostat – These types of thermostats are programmable, so they can be set to automatically adjust when no one is home. A programmable thermostat can save 10% on an average person’s heating and air conditioning bill. They retail for about $30.

4. Coffee Maker – If someone you know goes to a fancy gourmet coffee shop every morning on their way to work and buys a $5 latte, a halfway decent coffee maker can save them about $100 a month just in coffee, not to mention gas and time wasted sitting in a drive through line. You may want to add on to this one. Get them a nice thermal non skid coffee mug as well. Average cost? $50-$100.

5. The Roku – This is a little box that plugs into a TV and lets you watch thousands of HD movies online for free. Just make sure the person you give it to doesn’t have an XBox 360, Wii or PS3, but does have a Netflix account. If they’ve been extra good this year, you can sign them up for that, too. Netflix subscriptions cost about $8 a month.

Happy gifting!

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