Have any of the Black Friday and holiday commercials made you sweat at the thought of tapping into that bank account this holiday season? If so, don’t be too scared, below are some tips to save you some money and time.

– Determine a budget. The first thing anyone should do is create a budget and a list of people you need to shop for.

– Develop an excel sheet. Add in people you need to shop for and items you’ve purchased along with a cost. Tally it up at the bottom to make sure you stay on budget.

– Do your homework. Research best deals, sales and online stores that offer free shipping.

– Shop online. Not only will you find some great deals and (hopefully) free shipping, but you will also save gas and wear/tear on your car. Not to mention, who wants to deal with all those crowded stores? Not me!

– Homemade. There is nothing wrong with giving out homemade gifts, such as cookies, soaps, bracelets and even wreaths. It means so much more to the receiver than you realize.

– Electronic Holiday Cards. They are free, easy to “forward” along to more family/friends and you can really be creative with them. A video message would be really interesting also!

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