Although it seems like Halloween was just yesterday, it's clear holiday shopping is already in full swing. Surveys say you're expected to spend big bucks—upwards of $800 on others and another $100 on yourself—this season. How do you make sure you don't go into debt doing it? Make a gift-buying plan before you hit the stores.
And one last tip: If your budget is truly minimal for whatever reason, make a charitable contribution in honor of your friends and family. They'll get an acknowledgement of the gift from the charity but they don't have to know how much—or little—you gave.
Published on July 15, 2003