Ways to keep your holiday spending in check [Pictures]
To keep your spending in check and save money during the winter holidays, here are some tips.
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Prevent overspending during the holidays( Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun / November 25, 2011 )
The economy continues to gradually improve, but not enough for consumers to return to that free-wheeling holiday spending of years ago.
A recent survey of more than 1,500 consumers by Consumer Reports found that a little over half expect to spend the same amount as last year during this holiday season, while one-third expects to spend less. Only 12 percent plans to open their wallets more during the holidays.
And another survey by First Command Financial Services found that 52 percent of middle-income military families plans to cut spending on gifts by half from a year ago. They cite worries about another government shutdown, budget cuts and more furloughs next year.
"The stock market is soaring to record heights. The darkest days of the recession are over for most Americans. You would think people would be in a free-spending mood this holiday season," said Tod Marks, Consumer Reports senior editor, who describes this year's shoppers as "upbeat, but cautious."
To keep your spending in check and save money during the winter holidays, here are some tips: