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How Much Will You Spend This Holiday Season?

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Gift Receipts
420x316-grad-lee Dee Lee
Dee Lee is a Certified Financial Planner who received a diploma in...
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BOSTON (CBS) – According to a recent National Retail Federation survey, shoppers plan to be conservative with Holiday budgets this year. They plan to spend an average of $738. This includes the tree, decorations, cards, stamps and gifts. All that spending will result in over $600 billion in sales!

Most of us have HPS, Holiday Perfectionist Syndrome. We a want the perfect holiday, like the ones we see on TV, a beautiful tree laden with perfect ornaments, packages arranged artfully under the tree, festive food and everyone happy! And the perfect holiday comes with a price tag.

Creating a spending plan will help you stick to a budget. Make a list of the holiday expenses and include all of the costs here. Cards, stamps, invitations, parties, special foods, drinks, decorations, new outfits for the kids, the tree, babysitting, house gifts, hair salon, new clothes for the grownups and, of course, the presents you plan to buy for everyone!

According to another survey sponsored by Transunion, 65% of consumers do not save in advance of holiday shopping. So many shoppers will be facing buyer’s remorse in January when the bills start coming in.

What can you afford without going into debt this year? Did you set up a Christmas club last January? The average consumer is still paying off Christmas in July! And 11% of consumers still have not paid off last year’s Christmas gifts.

What and who can you delete from your Christmas list? Do you need to send Christmas cards to everyone you know? How about just those that live far away. Or just your grandparents and the rest get an e-mail.

And when we are out Christmas shopping we also treat ourselves. To the tune of an additional $18 billion on non-gift purchases. Lots of reasons for that. We see something we would like or the sales are too good to pass up. On average, we spend $108 on ourselves while out Christmas shopping.

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