holiday-budget-with-money-300x199The Holiday season brings happiness and cheer, and let’s be honest, one of the things we look most forward to are presents! While getting presents is great, many tend to go crazy and spend as if there’s no tomorrow. According to the National Retail Federation consumers plan on spending an average of $540 on gifts alone this year, not including party planning, decorations and trips. About one-third of shoppers will use a credit card.

Being able to stay on budget and getting everyone something a little special is not impossible. Below, you will find suggestions as to how you can have a frugal and happy holiday.

How to Budget During the Holidays

Everybody loves Secret Santa!

One of the most popular suggestions is having a Secret Santa style family Christmas.  Put all names into a Santa hat or stalking and whomever you get, is the person you get a gift for. This way you can avoid having to buy a gift for every single person in the family, which can add up, especially if you’re part of a big family. A gift-spending limit can be established so that it’s easier to determine what kind of gift to purchase.

Food-centric Gatherings

When it comes to gift giving for friends and co-workers, avoid having to buy each person a gift by hosting a potluck or wine night. This way, you can enjoy each other’s company without simply focusing on gifts and gift exchanging.

Use the Internet to Find the Best Deals

Another way to stick to your budget this Holiday Season is by using the Internet and technology to find the best deals.  Subscribing to the emails of your favorite retailers is always a great way to find out about major Holiday sales they may have going on. A site such as ShopItToMe.com sells designer clothing for up to 70% off retail price, and has email alerts telling you that your favorite brands and sizes are at a bigger discount. There are similar sites such as ZingSale.com that sell electronics the same way.

RetailMeNot.com, and other sites like it, offers coupons and free shipping codes for over 40,000 stores. There are many sites that offer free shipping during the Holidays and others that offer free shipping, but only after a certain amount is spent of course.

Use Your Debit Card!

One of the best ways to avoid swiping your credit card a few too many times is by shopping with a debit card or with cash. It’s easier to stick to a budget when there is a set limit to your spending.

Christmas shopping doesn’t have to burn a hold in your pocket; you just have to know how to shop the right way. Hope these tips help ease the stress!

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