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'It’s going to be easy to spend way too much' | Expert has tips on saving money over the holidays

A little homework before the holidays can save a massive headache in the New Year when the bills start rolling in.

The holidays are just around the corner, but the cost of Christmas this year may be a little more than you bargained for.

Here are some tips on how to keep the higher prices from hurting your holidays. 

“Some of the problems is you may not even be able to get the items. There are things that people are ordering now that they’re on backorder," Certified Financial Planner with RIA Advisors Danny Ratliff said. 

Costs are increasing across the board.

“You go to the grocery store, you go to the pump, and we’re certainly going to see that with Christmas shopping," Ratliff said. 

In September, the consumer price index for all items was up 5.4% over last year.  

RELATED: Why are gas prices rising when they usually drop this time of year?

“This is one of those years where I think it’s going to be easy to spend way too much," Ratliff said. 

He advises first and foremost, have a budget. Make a list and stick to it. 

“Make something or give an experience. And that’s a good way to save money but also create memories along the way," Ratliff said. 

When it comes to parties, potlucks and gift exchanges are great money-saving substitutions. 

“The old school white elephant gift exchange, I think that’s something that’s a good way to say 'Hey, we’re going to put a price tag on this.' Nobody gets too far out of whack and usually everybody goes home with some goofy gift that you’re going to talk about next year," Ratliff said. 

Outside of the holidays, everyday shopping is already taking a hit. He says do your research, plan the week’s meals ahead, try to leave your kids at home and stick with generic labels.

And if you buy in bulk, make sure it makes sense.  

“There’s a lot times that we see that if we go to H-E-B and you do the math on what it’s costing per product, versus going to Sam's Club or Costco, you may be actually better off staying at the smaller, not the big box store," Ratliff said. 

A little homework before the holidays can save a massive headache in the New Year. 

Janelle Bludau on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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