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September 23, 2009 > Tips on how to budget for the holidays

Tips on how to budget for the holidays

Submitted By Morris Hamm, CPA

While the holidays are a joyous time of year, it can be quite taxing on your pocketbook. Every year numerous people fall into the same trap by overspending on gifts, travel, and food. While the holidays encourage us to give to others it does not have to be in excess. Although it is only September, get ahead of the curve and start thinking about your financial planning and setting a budget so you can enjoy the holidays to their fullest! The University of Phoenix is offering tips on how to start budgeting for the holidays.

Plan a holiday budget. Allocate a budget for each person and stick to it. Additionally, make a list of items that you intend to purchase and estimate the cost.

Start saving early and often. Look at your cost estimates and establish a savings plan. Even if you are only able to put away $10 or $20 a week, it will eventually add up.

Use cash. Try to only use cash so that you don't find yourself in credit card debt.

Start holiday shopping early. Buying presents throughout the year, will allow you to spread out your funds and not have to purchase them all at one time.

Make your own gifts. If you enjoy crafts, art or cookery, put your talents to good use and give personal, handmade gifts that will be treasured.

Buy gift wrap early. Gift wrap tends not to be as expensive if bought in advance or immediately following the holidays. Buy early and save for this year.

Do Research. When searching for those perfect gifts make sure to do your research and find the best deal on that item.

Draw names out of a hat. For extended family, have everyone draw names out of a hat so that you each shop for only one member of your family.

Look for coupons. Keep an eye out for online and coupon books. This technique will help save you money.

Plan a Potluck. When celebrating holiday dinners with your family or friends, plan a potluck so that everyone will be responsible for a dish.

Morris Hamm, is a CPA and instructor at the University of Phoenix.

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