If you’ve ever heard the advice, “Never go to the grocery store without a list or when you’re hungry,” chances are you know why: you’re likely to buy more than you need and spend more, too. The same advice applies when you’re shopping for the holidays. Whether you’re shopping at the mall, online, or by phone or mail, a little planning and know-how can help you deliver a holiday season that’s on budget and maybe even a little less stressful.

By making a shopping list, creating — and sticking to — a realistic budget, and looking for good values, you may be able to avoid the headache that could come with post-holiday debt.

List the people you plan to buy gifts for, the type of gifts you plan to buy, and how much you plan to spend. Include the cost of cash gifts, holiday travel, extra food, wrappings, decorations, greeting cards, and postage. If it relates to the holiday season and it costs money, add it to your budget.

Here is some more information to help you prepare for Black Friday:

General Buying Tips
Shopping the Holiday Sale Ads
Tips for Buying and Using Gift Cards
Online Holiday Shopping

Don't forget to relax a little, too, if you are out shopping among the masses. Instead of cramming in as many stores as you possibly can, plan enough time so that you can take a break when you need to. Sit down, enjoy a warm beverage, and take in the holiday season.

Search Black Friday Deals Now:

Black Friday Ads
Black Friday @ Gotta Deal

Resolve Problems:

Contact your local consumer office, the Better Business Bureau nearest to you, or here are some other organizations you can contact.

Information Courtesy of:

Federal Trade Commission
Consumer Action
Federal Citizen Information Center

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