Just like every other time of year, you need to have a budget for Christmas shopping. Probably even more so than every other time of year!

It’s the number one time for spending blowouts – so go in prepared.

Who are you buying for? What’s your budget for each gift? If you’re watching what you spend, could you suggest a Secret Santa to your family where each of you selects one person to buy for and has, say, a $100 spending limit? Would something like that work? Do you follow the rule of “something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read” with your kids? (I don’t – but I wish I did!)

When it comes to food, what do you need to buy, cook, prepare, take, gift?

Check for sales, don’t over indulge, write a list and stick to it. Don’t get caught up buying that extra box of chocolates because they were on sale, or that extra bottle of gin because it was a great price.

Come up with a plan and stick to it.

January is a tough month to be hit with credit card debt so let’s try to avoid that.

The aim here is mindful spending. Not mindless, crazy ass, the world is going to end spending. We don’t want that.

Lists, lists and more lists – and then you just have to stick to the lists.

Good luck!