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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Consumers are prepared for a holly, jolly holiday season, According to a National Retail Federation survey the average holiday shopper will spend $749.51 on gifts, d├ęcor, greeting cards and more, up slightly from the $740.57 they spent last year.

While we don't want to take the joy out of your holiday shopping...following a few simple guidelines now will keep you from buyer's remorse when the bills arrive next January.
Nicole N. Middendorf fromProsperwell Financialappeared on KARE News@4to fill us in.

Here are Nicole's suggestions:

1. Have a plan and live within your means. Be realistic.

2. Set a budget and stick to it. Decide on an amount and don't change it.

3. Travel is an expense. If your family is out of town, factor in the cost of airfare or gas.

4. Go in with others on a gift.

5. Don't charge it. On average, it takes till May to pay off credit card debt from the holidays.

6. Make it a family affair. Set a budget with your kids for gifts for their friends and teachers. This will save you money and also teach your kids about money

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