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How to Keep Holiday Spending in Check

When people think "the last week of November,"

When people think "the last week of November," they often think of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all the Christmas shopping that happens during that post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas time. Here are some simple tricks to keeping your holiday spending from sending you into debt by the end of the year:
1) Create a budget -- include everything on it. Travel expenses, gifts, food and beverages you might have to bring to parties. This will give you a good idea of how much you can afford to spend overall.
2) Make a gift list -- this is so important! Make a list (and a running total of prices) of every single gift you give people. Be sure it falls within your budget. If not, tweak the type of gifts or how many people you give to.
3) Stop impulse buying! That's part of the success of Black Friday -- making you feel like you've gotten such a great deal that you have all kinds of room in your budget for things that were never on your list in the first place. Stick to the list and enjoy the savings. If you're shopping at a place that offers bonus cash for purchases, use the bonus cash to buy other things on your list, too.