7 ways to stick to your holiday budget
Joseph Montanaro, a certified financial planner, urges you to use cash for all your expenditures.
"Cash makes it easier to stick to your budget," says Montanaro, who works for USAA, a company based in San Antonio that provides financial services to active and retired military families.
One relatively painless way to collect some extra cash and save money is to capture every family member's pocket change in a jar. It's old fashioned, but effective.
"Our family does this all year and we average $800 to spend on the holidays," says Montanaro.
When you're ready to shop, label envelopes with the name of the gift recipients and your other spending categories and put the appropriate cash in each envelope, matching the amount with your planned budget.
If you feel insecure about carrying cash, using a debit card makes even more sense. But keep close track of what you're spending or it could get out of hand, just like credit card use can.