3 ON YOUR SIDE (3TV) - Spending sprees and holiday sales make it easy to go over your budget this season.

But financial experts say there are easy ways to rein in your spending.

Chris Burns is a financial expert and says you have to write down a budget.

[WATCH: Ways to avoid racking up debt during holiday shopping]

"Knowing right now how much you're going to spend for the next two months and really setting limits for yourself," he said.

Experts say once you assign a distinct dollar amount, get more specific and list who will be on your gift list. And be realistic about how much you'll actually spend on each person.

“If you do that, not only do you end the year feeling better about your finances, but it also sparks creativity so that gifts you end up giving tend to be better," Burns said.

Tip No. 2 is to start early and shop with a plan. This gives you time to find quality used items or make your own gifts.

“That’s enough time to really make a plan and say this is what we have. And now, let's go look at creative gifts now, not three days before Christmas," Burns said.

And No. 3 is to get the family involved.

“What if you brought the family into it and said 'Look, this is the amount of money we have. We can spend it on the next best gift for you, or we would also like to spend it as a family. What do you think about that?'" Burns said.

And remember spending less doesn't make those gifts any less meaningful.

Gary Harper's 3 On Your Side reports air weeknights on 3TV News at 9.

 
 


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