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Seven ways to cut your holiday expenses

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By Jason Alderman

When it comes to holiday spending, waiting in store lines all night and jostling for discounts will mean very little if you don’t have a budget that shapes your finances year-round. With the average United States household spending $600-$700 in 2014 for the holidays, putting that money together shouldn’t be a game of chance. Here are some tips to get it right:
• Before you make a list, plan. How’s your debt? Do you have an emergency fund or any savings put aside? Start the holiday season by getting a handle on what you owe and what you’re spending day-to-day. Then plan a holiday budget (practicalmoneyskills.com/YourHolidayBudget) as early as possible that allows you to spend wisely.
• See what spending is really necessary. It’s tough to cut young kids off a gift list, so turn to the adults. If your finances are limited, it’s worth asking adult friends and family members if they’d consider a gift swap or forego gifts altogether. They might actually think it’s a good idea.


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