3 ON YOUR SIDE (3TV) - It seems like retailers start the holiday season earlier and earlier each year.

After all, they want your money. So now is the time to start preparing yourself for holiday spending.

[WATCH: The time to start preparing for holiday spending is now]

"Having a game plan going into the holidays can make a huge difference," Jill Emanuel said.

Emanuel is a financial coach for Fiscal Fitness Phoenix and says thinking about holiday spending in October just makes sense.

The first step in preparing for holiday spending is establishing a budget now. In fact, she recommends putting money aside now.

"What I have found, time and time again with people, is the amount they set for themselves is what they will spend when it comes to gift-giving," she said.

The National Retail Federation expects to see about a 4% increase in spending compared to the same time last year. Much of that includes online spending, which is expected to be up 10% this season.

One reason is online shopping makes it too easy to spend more money.

"Online shopping has definitely changed the way we spend, and immediate gratification makes it easy to spend a lot more than attended," Emanuel said.

When it comes holiday spending, Emanuel tells 3 On Your Side you may not really have to spend money at all since there are other ways to get in the holiday mood.

"Around the holiday time, there's so much emphasis on gift-giving. But, truly doing things that create memories having experiences are some of the most memorable things we can do with our family and loved ones," said Emanuel.

A couple of other tips to remember is it's not only the gifts that cost money. Keep in mind dinner and drinks with family and friends can cost quite a bit of money, too.

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