'Tis the season, for spending. Friday millions of people hit the stores to start their Christmas shopping. But how hard are those holiday bills going to hit you come January? Before you break the bank, surf the web. It's about knowing your limits.
Start with Bankrate. They specialize in financial information, and want to help you avoid that holiday headache. Overspending. Check out their holiday spending calculator. This is a good way to remind yourself just how expensive the holiday spirit can be. It works best if you have last years numbers, or at least an idea of what you spent. It doesn't stop at presents, either. Scroll on down for a true picture of holiday costs, from the toy trains to the tree trimming. It'll make you think about what you spend, and, if you're okay with that, help you save enough for next year.
If you're really serious about it, check Smart Money Magazine's holiday budget. It's even more detailed, and will likely help you control those over spending urges.
If all those forms frighten you, click over to their article on the topic that'll help all those forms make more sense. It explains the serious problems you can spend yourself into, and how to avoid them.
Here's one that's all business, but packed with solid advice. A law firm's page on holiday spending. Read what they have to say now for free, or pay them by the hour later to get you through bankruptcy.
The Financial Consumer Guide goes a step further, suggesting ways to budget before the season even getting a part time job to have the holiday you want.