Holiday Savings Strategies

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(Memphis) Halloween may still be weeks away, but Christmas will be here before you know it.

Research shows the average family spends more than $800 during the holiday season.

While the time to really start saving for December was January, none of us are perfect, and it's not too late.

From toys to televisions, they're all hot picks for the holidays.

What if you could have them without paying in full up front?

Layaway is the throwback that's made a comeback in recent years.

"It's convenient for some people that have children during the holidays," says Ella Dunning.

Dunning recalls using lay away to buy for her children years ago, and she's glad to see retailers like Walmart offering the option again.

She made a visit to the store on Elvis Presley to pay on an exercise bike she plans to get out before Christmas.

"Instead of paying all the money at once, it gives you options to get you something else you want, you can enjoy something else, put that little money on something else, on some more bills or something," explains Dunning about why she likes layaway.

Be sure to read layaway policies carefully, check for fees and penalties for non-payment.

Another holiday savings strategy...simply set money aside.

Experts say you don't want to rely on December's income alone, so starting now is better than nothing.

For example, with 76 days left until Christmas, saving $5 a day nets you a whooping 380 bucks.

Twenty dollars over the next ten weeks puts you at $200.

You can do this yourself, or try a Christmas Club Account at a local credit union.

Another option is trying to make some money before Christmas.

Part-time jobs are popular, sell unwanted stuff through consignment, or try converting a hobby into cash.