Christmas is a little more than six weeks away, but financial advisors say early planning may make the difference between blowing your budget and staying on track.
Financial expert Jeff Hines with The Binnacle Group has some tips on how to make the holiday season as smooth as possible on your budget.
Waiting to shop last-minute is a no-no.
"Some people wait until Black Friday. They think that's when they are going to get their best deals. There are really great deals now as well," said Hines.
"Do a secret Santa where you are picking a name when you have a large family."
Make a list and check it twice:
"Make yourself a list. Stick to your list and keep your list. It doesn't do you any good to create a budget and make a list if you leave it at home," said Hines.
If you have a list from last year, see who and what you spent money on and create a list based off that.
Cash is King:
Financial experts strongly recommend using cash to help stick with your budget -- and that way you won't be paying off your credit cards with interest in the coming months.
Try thinking outside the box by making gifts that cost nothing or donating to a charity in your friends name -- that will help you with a tax deduction.