Financial planner gives tips to staying under budget this holiday season

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind- When it comes to holiday shopping, most people set themselves a limit. But for those that don’t, the holiday cheer quickly fades when the credit card bill is due.

“Don't treat the credit card like a magic card this holiday season," said Russ Ford with Wayfinder Financial. "Santa isn't going to pay that for you, you've got to have a plan to pay it off.”

Ford says there’s plenty of time to plan out your holiday shopping. The first step is simply paying attention.

“Even if it doesn’t pay off for you to save money this holiday season, you might save money in January and February just by starting to pay attention to what you’re spending now,” Ford said.

"Any sort of way to limit yourself is good," Ford explained. "Whether it be cash, whether it be a prepaid debit card, whether it be having a separate account that you put a certain amount in for your holiday spending... any sort of way to limit yourself or cap yourself and give yourself a number to work off of that actually makes you have to think about it is a good strategy.”

At the end of the day, gifts are more than just a price tag. No matter how much you spend, as long as you think about your loved ones (and your bank account balance), you can’t go wrong.

"It's not an all or nothing game, it’s an all or something game," Ford said. "If you can save bits of money here and there just by tracking, you’ll be a winner this holiday season.”

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