SAVE MONEY: How to keep holiday spending on a budget

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It's so easy to blow money, especially around the holidays.

Financial experts say unemployment is down, so most people have some money to spend.

Americans' credit card debt is ballooning as well.

To prevent a money crisis after the holidays are over, financial planners say consumers need to be realistic with how much cash they have.

Make a list of who you're buying for, where you're getting the gifts and how much you can spend.

Make sure the bills are paid first, then see what's left.

Ideally we'll have been saving all year, putting a little in the bank each month, but is you haven't, there's still hope.

Financial planner Sandi Weaver says you need to be strict. No eating out, no extra coffee runs, no going out to the bar.

The number one thing Weaver suggests to those needing budgeting help: financial apps.

Download EveryDollar for broader budgeting. On Android phones, Christmas Gifts and Budget lets you plan specifically for Christmas.

Any other free app is helpful as well.

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Sarah Plake can be reached at Sarah.Plake@KSHB.com

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