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It’s the holiday season and you know all that it entails, so don’t let the expenses catch you off-guard— from traveling to see family to throwing your annual party to simply completing your holiday shopping.

Early planning and smart strategies can help you end the year on a positive financial note.

Plan Ahead
In the run up to the holidays, put some extra money aside from each paycheck and earmark it for holiday spending. A bit of padding in your purse won’t hurt and can only serve to make you feel more secure all season long.

Create a Budget
A comprehensive budget that accounts for all your holiday expenditures will help you determine whether your holiday needs and wants are realistic. Do some research to find out exactly how much particular items will cost so you can draw up a plan that includes specifics.

Comparison Shop

These days, it’s easier than ever to stretch your budget. Online comparison shopping tools can help you find the best deals on all your holiday gifts. If a tough deal is hard to score on a particular item, be willing to make adjustments to your
shopping list in order to stick to your budget.

Rethink Gifts

The thoughtfulness of a gift does not need to correspond to its cost. There are plenty of ways to show you care this holiday season that won’t break the bank. Consider using your talents and skills to make handcrafted gifts for family and friends.