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Posted November 16, 2017

Before Halloween is over, you begin to see gift wrap, holiday décor, and other seasonal items on shelves everywhere. It’s no wonder holiday retail sales totaled $655.8 billion in 2016 alone, according to the National Retail Federation.

In general, this year will be no different, but it can be on a personal level. Have a plan and follow though. This year, challenge yourself to save one dollar for every dollar spent.

If you’re up for the challenge, it’s best to start with a game plan.

The best way to avoid overspending is to determine in advance what your expenses should be. Look to years prior to get an idea.

Gifts for the family, travel, and sightseeing are just the half of it. Are there office gift exchanges or holiday parties you’re forgetting about? Write it all down to try and get the most accurate figure.

Rework a few things.

If you aren’t content with your projections, feel free to modify your plan. Don’t feel compelled to remove things off your list if you don’t want to. All you need is a little creativity. Can you, for example, pack snacks for the road or make your holiday party a potluck?

You don’t always have to spend as much as you think. Find ways to save.

Be proactive not reactive.

Matching a dollar spent for a dollar saved is our way of enjoying today while investing in our tomorrow.

If you find yourself in a situation in which you can no longer afford to save, the real question becomes can you really afford to spend.

Don’t let the holidays leave you with empty pockets. Aim to cut back and prioritize your holiday spending.

Choose your saving strategy.

Something to think about is how you will reroute your dollar for dollar match to savings. Do you want to review expenses on a weekly basis and make a transfer or do you want to establish an automatic transfer and adjust the balance at a later point?

Find an option that works for you. The important thing is to get it done.

Keep your holiday budget in check with our downloadable Gift List and Holiday Budget Worksheet.