It’s tough not to spend money during the holidays. There are presents to buy, parties to host, decorations to put up and so on. Here are some tips to help you from going overboard this holiday season.

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    Get real with yourself about your finances.

    Before you even make the gift list, look at what you can realistically spend. It’s the thought that counts, not the cost of the gift.

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    Don’t shop if you have the holiday blues.

    This time of year can bring joy, but let’s not kid ourselves it can bring on the blues too. Avoid shopping when you’re having a down day. Studies show that we’re willing to spend more when we’re sad. So avoid the store if you’re feeling blue.

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    Set a holiday curfew.

    Give yourself a set amount of time per store and don’t linger at the store. Have your list ready; know where to find those items. Get in and get out.

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    Make a list, check it twice and bring cash.

    If you can’t pay for it, don’t buy it. Charging will just get you into trouble. Don’t stray from your list.

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    Don’t shop with a holiday budget saboteur.

    Sometimes friends can convince you to buy something you really can’t afford. Shop with people who are on a budget themselves.

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    Point, click and save.

    Online shopping has big benefits. This is a great way to avoid impulse items. Plus it’s easy to compare prices online.

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    Don’t be afraid to re-gift.

    Let’s get real, if you get a gift you know you won’t use there may be someone you know would use it. So don’t be afraid to pass it on.