5 critical items for any budget
Too many times money is tight at the holidays, so consumers pull out the credit cards. But since you know they're coming, you can plan ahead and bank some cash.
Christmas is the perfect example, says Gail Cunningham, vice president of public relations with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Everyone knows it's coming, "yet we don't plan for it," she says. "And this is the perfect time of year to look back at your holiday spending."
Cunningham's advice: Calculate what you spent last year and divide by 10. Put away that amount every month and by October, you'll be ready to start shopping.
The same goes for birthdays, anniversaries, prom, graduation and other major celebrations.