Cut your holiday expenses

Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 11:58 AM.

* If the gift-giving gesture is important to you, suggest pooling resources with others to make a sizeable contribution to a charity you all believe in.

Once you've determined your overall holiday spending budget – and before you start shopping – make a detailed list that includes:

* Everyone on your shopping list.

* Spending limits and several gift alternatives for each person.

* How much you actually spend on each gift. If you overspend on one present you'll need to make up for it elsewhere.

* What you gave each person – to avoid giving them the same thing next year.

* What each person gave you to avoid "re-gifting" disasters later on.

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