The holidays may be the most wonderful time of the year, but they’re also the most EXPENSIVE! In order to help you budget your holiday spending, LearnVest CEO, Alexa von Tobel, shared her financial tips on a special edition of Financially Fearless.

Giving us a little holiday “therapy,” von Tobel ran through every little thing that stresses us out during the holiday season – the shopping, the traveling, the entertaining on top of our regular bills and expenses! She shared that on average, Americans spend about $854 around the holidays with 60% of people spending money on themselves. With the more-than-average spending, von Tobel advises that you should never go into debt just because you need to buy gifts for others. The results of holiday shopping can be detrimental to your bank accounts over time – she calls it the “the holiday hangover.”

“I’ve dealt with so many, hundreds of people, one-on-one, who are in a situation where they are carrying tons of debt this year, from last year,” she said.

Listen in as von Tobel takes listener calls and shares her advice on staying out of the red.

In order to help you save more dough this season, von Tobel also shared her savvy tips for staying within your budget.

Top 5 Tips for Holiday Spending:

  1. Never, EVER go into credit card debt for holiday spending. Similarly, never dip into emergency, or freedom funds for the sake of purchasing gifts.
  2. For holiday travel, do your best to avoid booking for the standard ‘popular’ travel days on that particular holiday. This could save you hundreds!
  3. When gifting, make a list of everyone you need to buy something for and how much you want to spend before heading to the store (or shopping online).
  4. Plan ahead! Plan as far in advance as possible so that your gifting budget will be baked into your 30% ‘lifestyle’ costs for the month.
  5. Consider starting a new family tradition, like drawing names and only buying a gift for one extended family member instead of all 20! Break the trend of having to buy a million gifts for every last cousin!

Tune in to Financially Fearless Thursdays at 11 am ET right on through January on SiriusXM Stars, Ch. 106.

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