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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

November 21, 2011
Avoid a Holiday Spending Hangover

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Before you hit the stores this holiday season, find out a few ways to adjust your budget and your habits so you don't overspend.


Many people dread the holidays because it's a tough time to control expenses and stick to a budget. Here are a few tips to keep from overspending:

Spend no more than 1 to 2 percent of your total annual income on holiday-related expenses–even less if you have other outstanding debts. Create a micro-budget for each person on your gift list. Knowing how much you plan to spend on each person will help ensure you stay on budget. And look for areas to scale back. For example, hold gift lotteries so everyone buys fewer–but nicer–gifts.

Bottom line: Go into the holidays knowing how much you can really afford to spend.

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