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5 Tips for Careful Spending This Christmas

This time of year it’s easy to get caught up in the out-of-control Christmas shopping! Giving is a wonderful way to show your loved ones that you care, but this joyful season can turn into credit card panic when the January statement arrives. Whether you’re prone to purchasing obligatory gifts at your place of work, the “oh they always buy me a gift so I can’t forget them” or the “one more cute thing they would completely love and it’s on sale”—you need to take charge!

Do these 5 things to make sure the snowball of spending doesn’t roll out of control:

1. Decide. Determine your budget while in the comfort of your non-pressured, no-great-sales-staring-you-in-the-face living room.  Decide how much you can spend on gifts this season and stick to it.

2. Make a list. List each person you will buy for, ideas for their gifts, and how much of that predetermined budget will go to that gift.

3. Be creative in your gift giving! If you don’t find the perfect gift at the right price do not hit the boxed gift aisle to get it done. Who needs one more revolving tie holder? Instead, what about a stuffed animal with a $20 bill as a necktie, a throw made with a silly family photo, an indoor bulb garden you plant to bloom over the next month, or a day trip planned for the month of February when life is more settled?

4. Stay on track. 50% off means you spend 50%. Unless it’s a great replacement for what is already on your list, pass it up! Then keep a mental journal of every end cap you walked by (with the best sale of the season). You will feel empowered!

5. Keep the change! So you found the perfect gift on sale and it costs half of what you had budgeted… Don’t feel guilty and then buy something more! It’s still a great gift, and you may need that extra bit of cash for something else anyway.

Follow these steps and you will find it’s going to save a boatload of mental angst. You will have slayed the Christmas retail-marketing giant, controlled your budget, and saved your sanity.

Do these 5 things to make sure the snowball of spending doesn’t roll out of control…

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Darlene, President of The Grit and Grace Project, is crazy enough to jump in the deep end then realize she may not have a clue where she’s landed. She has spent her adult life juggling careers in the music business, been an author, a video producer, and also cared for her family … some days drowning, other days believing she’s capable of synchronized swimming.

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