How to Jump-Start Saving for Christmas Now!

With July coming to a close, before you can say 'empty wallet,' we'll be past Halloween and Thanksgiving and into Christmas.  So, in order to keep from breaking the bank in December, now is the perfect time to begin your Christmas shopping!  So, we had Neeha Curtis speak with Financial Advisor, Cathy DeWitt Dunn about her top tips for starting early.

Her first suggestion: Make a Budget Based Off Last Year's Shopping.  Take a look at receipts from last year and see how much you spent on presents, food, wrapping paper, travel -- all of it.  Then, adjust your budget accordingly (like if you have new in-laws or will be taking a big trip).

Second: Check Your Bills for Ways to Cut Your Budget.  Can you go with a smaller phone data plan?  Or maybe this is the best time to cut out cable.  Perhaps you can forgo the daily lunch out with co-workers.  Basically, look at where you can cut costs and do it.

Third: Save Your Gift Receipts.  If you get an early gift, keep the receipt, just in case it goes on sale.  That way, you can take it in and get the difference.

Finally: Keep A List When You Shop and Stick To It.  When you go out shopping, have your Christmas list and don't stray from it.  This way, you know exactly what to get and you don't get carried away and overspend.

For more advice, check out Cathy DeWitt Dunn's Website.

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