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Ladies and gents, it’s that time of year again. The gift-giving season is officially upon us — from the overwhelming presence of bargains, bazaars, and mall-wide sales, it’s never an easy stint to stay within our Christmas budget.

Even if you plan your list to the last bit, the strategic placing of everything half off in our line of sight makes it almost impossible to just get the “essentials.” There’s always going to be something extra in our cart, because who can resist slashed prices on things we “might” use when we finally get some free time?

Here’s the thing, you do not have to cut yourself off completely. To get you spending wisely, read the following money-smart tricks below.

Priorities, priorities, priorities

If you’re flushed with cash, it’s easy to forget what you’re mindful about before you got showered with year-end moolah. Allocate your funds to the important things first: bills, rent, and savings. This way, you can go and treat yourself without worrying where you’ll end up financially following the holidays. After all, what’s better than peace of mind?

Don’t shop alone

If you do not trust yourself at all, maybe you can ask a close friend or a relative to go with you! You don’t just get your finances in check, you also have a fun day altogether.

Make a list — but don’t itemize it

You have to make an informed plan of your purchases and gifts, but do not make it too detailed. Why? Because it’ll only bring you frustration. Note that you also have to make the budget realistic, so you have a better sense of the costs you’ll be shelling out.

Try and be creative with personalized presents

Homemade gifts will never go out of style — they take precious time and effort, so they’re priceless in many ways. The best thing about these is that they’re cost-effective! If you want to make an impression that’ll last, you can try knitting, collage-making, or whatever it is that interests you. Don’t be afraid to seek tips from experts, especially since you just want to give the best to your loved ones.

Header image courtesy of Yellow Pages

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