The holidays are a great time to spend with friends and family, and show them you care with gifts. So how can you save throughout the year?

Start planning at the beginning of the year! Set a budget and stick to it. Do NOT go into debt buying presents. This leaves a terrible financial hangover the following January and February!

A reasonable budget is 3% of your annual income, include your spouse’s income, if you are married. So if your total household income is $100,000, your holiday budget is $3,000. Divide this by 52 weeks, which comes to $46.15/week.

To meet your budget, set aside $46.15 per week in a different savings account. Have that amount automatically transferred out so you don’t count on that amount per paycheck.

Now when the holidays roll around, you won’t feel the financial burden to buy gifts!

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