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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

December 17, 2012
Avoiding Holiday Budget Busters

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This holiday shopping season, consider these tips for creating a holiday spending plan that won't break the bank.


As you gear up for holiday spending, here are a few tips to make sure you don't break the bank: Before spending a dime on gifts, decorations, travel or other seasonal expenses, calculate how much you can afford relative to your overall budget. Ask yourself:

Can my emergency fund cover 6 months of expenses due to an unexpected financial crisis?

Will I be able to pay off all the holiday bills within a few months?

Am I already struggling with monthly bills?

Scale back by holding gift lotteries instead of buying presents for every friend, coworker and family member. And finally, instead of buying each other filler gifts, ask your group if they'd like to pool resources to make a sizeable charitable contribution instead.

Bottom line: Don't get blindsided by holiday expenses–stick to your budget.

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