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There are bills after Christmas!

By Kemberley Washington · Bankrate.com
Friday, December 21, 2012
Posted: 10 am ET

If you are like many Americans, this may be the weekend you begin to do all of your Christmas shopping. But just because there is so little time, it does not mean you have to spend a lot this Christmas.

Set your limits

I know, I know, many people go "all the way" during this time without understanding there is life after Christmas and bills, too! But before heading out, establish your monetary limits. Create and set a dollar amount and more importantly understand what you can afford. After establishing an amount, set a price limit for each person on your Christmas list. Review your list twice, determining whether your next-door neighbor really needs a gift at all!

And remember, no matter what: Do not go over your limits!

Research online

Before heading out to the stores, take time to really get an idea of what you want to purchase for each person. Doing so could not only help you save money, but time as well. If it is not too late, consider online purchasing where most purchases could be delivered by email, such as e-gift cards. Also consider websites such as Groupon.com or Restaurant.com to purchase goods or services for a fraction of the cost.

Be creative

At this point, you may have to get creative! Think outside the box. Consider inexpensive gifts that your loved ones would be able to use. Does your loved one enjoy visiting the nail shop? Is your parent an avid reader? Purchasing manicures in advance, books or gift cards are great ways to show your appreciation without breaking your bank.

Making keepsake items may be an option as well. Utilize your local photo shop to create scrapbooks that capture important memories throughout the years. In addition, photo ornaments may be a great gift to give and could in turn create a family tradition for years to come.

Remember, there is life after Christmas!

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