10 tips for setting up a holiday budget

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While it still feels like summer, the holiday season is quickly approaching, which means that bank account better be ready.

According to a new shopping survey, Americans are planning to splash the cash this year as job growth and market highs continue.

Accenture, the global management consulting firm, found that 36 percent of Americans are looking to spend more on gifts than they did last year. On average, it found each person will likely spend around $658 on the holidays this year, compared to $632 last year. Older millennials, in particular, are set to be the biggest spenders this year at around $779.

But if you were a little frivolous this summer and your cash reserves are running on empty, it’s “holiday budget crunch time,” according to Chris Whitlow, CEO of financial wellness provider Edukate.

“Heading into the holidays with a smart strategy will make for a merry Christmas and keep you from starting the New Year deeper in debt,” Whitlow tells FOX Business.

Here are Whitlow’s top 10 tips for setting up and staying on track with your holiday budget.

1.  Set limits and stick to them

Holiday spending involves more than just buying gifts. It also includes travel, decorations and food – to name a few. Create a “bucket budgeting” approach and figure out what you want to spend on each of those categories. And, don’t overspend that amount.

2.  Save now to spend later

Once you’ve added up what the holidays are going to cost, you may “get sticker shock.” But the good news is that if you don’t have the money to make it happen, there’s plenty of time to make budget cuts now so you don’t have to skimp during the holidays. Tips: Try to cut bank on dinners out, weekend getaways, clothing and any discretionary spending. The bottom line is to avoid short-term overspending during the weeks leading up to the holidays.

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