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How to Keep Santa on a Budget

How to Keep Santa on a Budget

These tips will help you keep holiday spending under control.

Well, duh. Hard to believe anyone needed a study to figure that out. This year has been particularly stressful because of the abbreviated three-week period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m getting a bit anxious because two of my three children still have not checked in with their Christmas lists.

Yes, I still ask my grown kids for wish lists. I’ve always thought lists are an effective holiday budgeting tool for the whole family. They help stressed-out parents stay organized and on task; they help kids learn to set priorities; and they help everyone keep from overspending. (And now that my kids are older and can include Web links to some of the things on their wish lists, it makes shopping a whole lot easier.)

Americans seem to need all the help they can get at this time of year to keep from busting the budget. In a survey by Capital One Bank, 74% of those interviewed said they were likely to prepare a holiday spending budget, but nearly half weren’t completely confident that they’d stick to it. For shoppers who need moral support, there’s no lack of practical advice. For instance:

 

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