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Christmas shopping on a budget- how to save your money this year

Holiday saving tips: if you’ve got a plan in place and know how to stretch each holiday dollar, you don’t have to fear your bank account statement on December 26. (Photo: MGN)

‘Tis the season to start trimming – your budget, that is, and not just your tree. The National Retail Federation estimated Americans will be spending more money on gifts in 2018 than they did in 2017.

US adults estimate that they will spend approximately $885 on gifts this year, slightly lower than 2017's expectations, Gallup reported.

With the countdown towards Christmas well underway, some shoppers said the bill they worry about in January caused stress in their lives. But, by saving and spending wisely, your holiday season doesn’t have to be a total budget-buster.

According to the experts at Money Crashers, there are a few tips shoppers looking to save some money can follow.

First, before you hit the mall or organize a big party, it can help to have a comprehensive plan in place so you know exactly where your money is going this holiday season. Write out a budget of what you want to spend, a list of who you need gifts for, and what exactly you want to buy.

Second, track your spending. The budget and list you made wont matter if you don't track what you are spending on Christmas shopping. Experts said this can make it easier to separate holiday spending from regular, day-to-day expenses.

Spreadsheets are also an excellent and accurate way to track your holiday expenditures. By establishing a budget and entering your real expenses, you can easily keep yourself on track. Just be sure to remain diligent.

Third, try checking out stores online. By looking at the stores online, shoppers can price compare, find discount codes, save on shipping and save on time spent wondering the malls.

Experts said shoppers might be surprised at how many discount codes can actually save them a good chunk of change for online holiday shopping.

Lastly, cut back on extras.

Whether that is extra stocking stuffers, a gift for yourself or a drive-through coffee... experts said by cutting back on buying things you don't "need" you can save a lot of money for a little extra holiday shopping money.

With Christmas on the horizon, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the spending cycle during the holidays. However, if you’ve got a plan in place and know how to stretch each holiday dollar, you don’t have to fear your bank account statement on December 26.


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