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Finances can be a significant source of stress during the holiday season. Between the feeling that you must purchase gifts for loved ones and the increased spending that comes with parties and eating out, the holidays can leave you feeling as if money is flying out of your checking account.

The bottom line is that a lot of people spend more money than they have available during this time of year leading to a financial burden that can carry well into the new year. Here are a few tips to help avoid overspending and avoid the toll on your mental health that overspending brings:

1. Plan Early

If you are a gift giver and your list doesn’t change very much, start shopping much earlier and spread out the money you are spending to avoid a large hit all at one time. If you start early enough, you might catch some great deals to help you save money in the long run.

If you know that you’ll have a work party or if there are any white elephant games that you might