Ways to limit spending this holiday season

(KGTV) - Ah, the holiday season is now upon us.

It's the time of year where many of us decide who to put on our "nice" list when it comes to gifts or how many side dishes are needed for Thanksgiving dinner. But with everything that comes with the holidays, many of us don't realize when we go overboard with money until it's too late.

The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) has the following tips to make sure you stay financially fit this season.

1. Create a budget and stick to it: NEFE recommends preparing a firm list of gifts and holiday decorations you plan to buy, the holiday parties you may/may not attend and any expenses associated with traveling during the holidays.

2. When it comes to gift-giving, make a list: Making a list of family, friends and others to shop for ahead of time will ease the stress a little bit when it comes time to do the shopping. NEFE says the important thing is to "be flexible in cutting the list to accommodate your budget if needed."

3. Shop around: Everybody loves a bargain, and there always seems to be great prices during the holiday shopping frenzy. Be sure to check out store ads on 10News' ShopSmart page to compare prices and find good deals. If you're buying online, plan to pay any possible shipping fees. A great tip from NEFE is to "avoid adding last-minute impulse items" to gifts.

4. Know when to keep it simple: If you're serious about staying within your budget, you may face some tough choices when it comes to who you're buying gifts for or spending on miscellaneous holiday items. Keep it simple this time around by doing things such as cutting your gift list down from what it was the previous year or who you plan on sending holiday cards to.

5. Save, save, save: By now we know that the holiday season can get expensive, so with the knowledge, NEFE recommends creating a special savings account just for holiday spending that you can contribute to throughout the year. The extra cash could come in handy for unforeseen expenses like last-minute travel costs or forgetting a gift for a relative.

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