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The elusive holiday budget

The holiday season is a time for fun and celebration, but as everyone knows - it can also be a very spendy time people find themselves getting carried away by the festive mood and spending more than planned. Here are some general ways to stay within your holiday budget without being a scrooge:
Gifts Shopping online is the most cost-effective way to buy Christmas gifts. Online stores usually offer a wider selection of gift items and lower prices, good discounts, special offers, promotional deals and coupons before the holiday season. The Internet is also the most convenient place to comparison shop. Keep your car in the driveway, make some coffee and relax by the computer instead of dragging yourself from store to store.
Traveling Book accommodation and transportation as early as possible. Most travel companies and airlines offer better rates to early bookers. Use airfare, hotel, car rental comparison or blind booking websites to find the best travel deals.
Christmas party Whether you are holding a Christmas party at home or in your office, be prepared to spend a considerable amount on food and beverages, gifts, decorations and party favours. Reduce costs by buying in bulk and try your hand at DIY decorations and party favours. Also consider alternatives like White Elephant Swaps and guest contributing a few munchies to help offset costs. Everyone is there for the same reason - to enjoy one another's company during the holiday season.
Remember - use cash instead of credit as often as possible and remember the true meaning of this time of year.
About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on subjects from creating a budget to small business marketing.


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