Parties, potlucks, and presents may mean your credit card will be the only thing getting a good workout this month. Though we try to be responsible and stay within our budgets, somehow we manage to blow it every year. To help the finances through this month, here are some clever ways to avoid overspending:

Buy big rolls of wrapping paper instead of single sheets. Little things like gift tags, cards, and wrapping paper can really add up and will eventually just end up in the garbage. To reduce costs, reuse gift bags from previous years or buy a large role of plain brown paper and dress it up with fancy bows and string. You can also make your own name tags by using decorative edge scissors.

Shop online at sites that let you sort gifts by price. Websites like allow you to buy meaningful gifts for children living in extreme poverty around the world in honour of your loved one. You can search gift items by price helping you to stay within your budget. Your loved one will then receive an e-card to let them know that a life-saving gift was purchased in their name.

Eat a good meal before you leave home or bring a snack with you. Most people don’t realize how much money is spent buying food and snacks at the mall; money that impacts your shopping budget’s bottom line. Go ahead and buy a snack, but eat the main meals at home – your wallet and waistline will both thank you.

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