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With Black Friday approaching, thoughts may be turning to getting your Holiday shopping done. Many people consider holiday shopping to be one of the most stressful times of the year, as crowded stores and product shortages make purchasing difficult. Here are some tips to help make your outings easier on you and your wallet.

–          Make a List. Just like Santa, prepare a list of everybody you need to buy gifts for and check them off when you’re done. Write down ideas, but make sure to keep it hidden from prying eyes. Knowing exactly how many gifts you have to buy can really help you budget.

–          Comparison Shop Online. Shopping on your computer can be a great way to compare prices and shipping options. Look on resale sites like eBay as well to save money. Don’t be afraid to visit a brick and mortar store to have hands-on time with a product as well, but don’t feel like you have to buy it there.

–          Pay with Cash. One of the best ways to avoid overspending is to get your shopping budget out of the bank in cash. It’s easy to spend too much when you’re putting it on a card, so bringing cash will help you think more about everything you buy.

–          Get Easy Gifts Done First. If you know your expenditures for simple gifts like your mailman, your paperboy, et cetera, set those aside and check them off the list. It’ll prevent you from scrambling to scrape up the cash come holiday-time.