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Christmas shopping doesn't have to break the bank

Christmas shopping doesn't have to break the bank



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SALT LAKE CITY -- With less than two weeks before Christmas, you may get a little crazy in your gift shopping. Sixty-percent of Americans admit they don't have a Christmas budget.

Barbara Stark with American Debt Counseling says so many people just grab off the shelves or click online and shop away. She recommends making a gift list and spending plan for each person on your list.

"When you see that gifts come up that might be appropriate for that person on the list, make sure that it falls within the amount you've specified -- the guideline for what you can afford to spend on that person -- and then know when to call it quits, and stop shopping," she says.

Even if you splurge a little too much, there is still a way to get back on track.

"If you fall off the budget wagon, much like if you fall off your diet, don't go with the temptation to say, 'Well I blew it so now it really doesn't matter,'" says Stark. "Instead, recommit to your budget."

Stark says the average person spends $1,220 on gifts and takes six months to pay for it. However, if you only pay the minimum on your credit card bill with 18 percent interest, you're looking at 22 years to pay it off.

E-mail: mrichards@ksl.com

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Mary Richards

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