1. Make a list for whom and what you're buying, and set a budget for each.
2. Be sure to take the advertisement to the store with you for the items that you want to purchase.
3. Pay close attention to your purse and/or wallet. Pickpockets are extra busy during this season.
4. Keep all of your receipts in an envelope and ask for gift receipts when making purchases for others.
5. Give gifts that you can make.
6. If you have to mail gifts, don't wait until the last minute. Send them early, if possible.
7. Avoid the crowds and shop online. Be sure to Google online promotion codes and coupons for the stores from which you are purchasing.
8. Use cash only to make purchases. Do not use your credit cards!
9. Steer clear of buying extended warranties. Usually the manufacturer’s warranty covers the first year anyway.
10. If you have a large family, pull names and purchase one gift instead of purchasing for each family member.
Lisa Rogers-Cherry is the author of Lifting the Burdens of Debt: A Helpful Guide to Getting Your Debts Paid and Your Life Back on Track (2005; $14.95). Rogers-Cherry also writes monthly financial tips for www.bloggingblackmiami.com and can be heard on www.wmbm.com on the “Let's Talk Money Show.”