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Any suggestions on keeping my holiday spending under control?

November and December are months of special dinners with family and friends, parties, and exchanging of gifts. These good times lead to higher-than-usual family expenses.

Unplanned or over-enthusiastic holiday spending can create financial troubles, especially in January when the bills arrive. Follow these steps to avoid the holiday splurge urge.

  • Estimate holiday expenses, including travel, special meals, charitable donations, phone calls, gifts, and greeting cards. List the people you usually buy gifts for, and this year's gift ideas.
  • How much can you afford to take out of income, from savings, and how much can afford to put on credit cards?
  • Set realistic limits. Remember, it is the thought that counts, not the price tag.
  • Shop early, take advantage of sales, and avoid impulse buys.
  • Keep track of the costs and know what bills will be arriving.
  • Control your spending, lower financial stress and enjoy the season.




Written by:
Sandra McKinnon, Family Financial Education Specialist, University of Missouri-Extension
Cynthia E. Crawford, Ph.D., Family Financial Education Specialist, University of Missouri-Extension




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Last update: Wednesday, April 19, 2006




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