Heather Black

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Video: How To Budget for Christmas

GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Miss. (WCBI)-There are 20 days until Christmas and some of us are still shopping for the perfect gifts for our loved ones.

No matter your financial status it can be hard not to over spend during the holidays.

It can be easy¬†to spend more money around holidays than expected. Over spending can lead to bills piling up throughout the next year; which can cause stress for any family. No matter how you want to spend your Christmas money, it’s always safe to have a plan.

“You have to be like santa and make a list and check it twice and then decide how much you can afford to spend in total and divide up by all those people,” says Dr. Bobbie Shaffett.

By budgeting out your total spending, listing your expenses and tracking your spending, it can prevent stress throughout the holidays.

“We don’t want to have any surprises in January finding out that we can’t pay the bills and then having so much stress that it ruins all the joy of the holidays. Always plan with the end in mind. You have to figure out how your going to pay for it before you buy it,” says Dr. Shaffett.

Everywhere you turn there is some type of item being advertised. Dr. Bobbie Shaffett says that can cause us to purchase more items for the children than they need.

“The hardest part is we really love our family and we want to buy them everything in the world, but sometimes if we give children too many things they don’t enjoy any one thing and so sometimes its best just to find one thing that they really love and then they can enjoy that,” says Dr. Shaffett.

Stewart Stafford, a father of three says Christmas presents don’t cross his mind until later in the year.

“When it starts approaching Thanksgiving we start thinking about it. My kids are young so santa clause handles most of our Christmas for us, that’s nice, but really I try to make all the money I can and I just give it to my wife and hope for the best,” says Stewart Stafford.

Even though Stewart and his wife have no long term budgeting plans, they say their childrens reactions on Christmas morning are priceless.

“It’s really just seeing the kids two of mine particularly are still real small and when my older one was small just seeing that sense of wonder in them and get to spend sometime with family and take a little time off,” says Stafford.

Dr. Shaffett says if you purchase your gifts in cash it gives you a stopping point verses paying with debit or credit cards.