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Contrary to what commercials want you to believe, the holidays should not be one budget-busting, anxiety-filled event after another. Instead it should be about the memories and going to fun-filled parties with the ones you love.

Here are a few tips to get everything on your list on a budget, as well as save a little time and energy while you’re at it!

First things first.

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Tip #1 – Create a written list. Let’s face it; there’s too much going on this season to try and keep everything in your head. Creating a list will help you create much needed focus and cut down on buying unnecessary items, therefore saving you money. Having a predetermined plan also reduces anxiety by getting “To Dos” out of your head and on to paper where they belong.

Tip #2- Determine what you can really afford to spend. Use the list to determine the total estimated cost of your holiday spending. Remember you can never blow an entire paycheck on gifts! Real life doesn’t stop just because the holidays have started. If what’s on your list isn’t quite adding up, you may have a little adjusting to do.

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Start online.

Tip #3 – Never buy anything without searching online first. Sites like and list discount codes or printable coupons for thousands of stores like Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret. Beware, however, that although they are devoted to digging through millions of web pages in order to compile coupons in one place, they can still prove to be a time waster if you aren’t specific about your search.

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Tip #4 – Check out Google Shopping. It features a product search feature helps you find any website offering the item on your wish list by either its specific description or SKU number. The best part is that it also allows you to comparison shop virtually and physically by directing you to both websites offering your product as well as stores in your local area.

Tip #5 – Always visit a store’s website first. Look for specials or clearance items which may not be made available in-store. Often times, you can find unadvertised offers or printable coupons to take with you.

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Think outside the box.

Tip #6 – Look for gifts that are sentimental – not expensive. Make something from the heart. Use your talents and skills to make one-of-a-kind creations for the special people on your list. If you’re an artist, paint a personal masterpiece. Figure out how you can find the gift that lies within you.

Tip #7 – Cash in on the rewards points you’ve been accumulating. There’s no time like the holiday season to take advantage of the rewards, points, miles, etc. you’ve been saving up all year. Look through all those cards and see if you’ve qualified for any percentages or dollar amounts off. If so and if possible, focus your list on those particular stores.

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More Ways To Balance Your Budget:

4 Ways To Maintain Your Beauty On A Budget

The Secret To Successful Budgeting

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7 Tips For Getting Everything On Your List On A Budget  was originally published on