Are your finances ready for the holidays?

Here are a few tips for keeping your finances under control during the holiday season.

Set a holiday budget:  Before the holiday madness starts, take a look at your budget and figure out how much you can reasonably spend on gifts and holiday merriment.  Knowing your total budget in advance is the best first step to making sure things stay under control this holiday season.

Reduce unnecessary expenses:  Take a look at your bank account or credit card bill.  Is there anything you normally “splurge” on that you could cut out this month?  This is a good time to review some of your spending habits.

Make a list and prioritize it:  Determine your top financial priorities for this holiday season and make sure you allocate budget to those first.  For the non-essential purchases, think about where you could save a little by making a homemade gift or “giving” your time instead.

Track your holiday spending:  Document every gift, hostess gift, new holiday outfit, so you can easily track how much you are spending vs. how much you have left in your holiday budget.