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Don't get caught in the red this holiday season: Avoid unnecessary spending

65184H(NC)—Shopping, decorating and festive parties make the holidays the busiest time of year. With so much going on, it’s no wonder Canadians commonly lose track of their spending and end up in the red come the first holiday party.
Before spending any money, consider the following to stay balanced this holiday season:

1. Make a shopping list. Record everyone on your gift list and how much you can afford to spend on each person. According to MasterCard Canada one-third of Canadians spend between $21 and $50 per person. A shopping list will help you stay on track even in the midst of the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping.

2. Shop with a friend. MasterCard Canada reports that only one-quarter (27%) of Canadians can say they don’t go over budget. For everyone else, it’s wise to shop with your spouse, friends or family members who can help limit your spending and keep you company during stressful shopping days.

3. Set a budget. Only 38 per cent of Canadians say they create a budget for the holidays. Without a budget you may spend more money than you have. Create a holiday budget in January and stick to it throughout the year.

4. Set limits. Decide ahead of time how much money you should spend on each gift, decorations and holiday parties. This budgeting technique will keep you in line and make sure you’re not over budget before the holidays start!

5. Plan for the party. Just because you are hosting a holiday party doesn’t mean you need to pay for everything. Ask guests what they can bring – whether it’s food, drinks, decorations or games. Everyone will be more than happy to chip in for a potluck celebration.
It’s easy to spend a small fortune during the holidays. Before spending, think about ways to save and always make sure you’re within budget. For more information about holiday budgeting, visit MasterCard.ca.


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