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BMO Harris Bank Financial Tip Of The Week: Holiday Budgeting Tips

CHICAGO, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of BMO Harris Bank's ongoing commitment to financial literacy and Helping Make Money Make Sense, BMO Harris is providing weekly financial tips. This week's tip provides solutions to common holiday financial dilemmas.

When it comes to the spirit of giving, most of us have plenty to go around during the holiday season. But sometimes, our pocketbooks have trouble keeping up. Many people experience a money crunch around the holidays.

BMO Harris provides steps for getting out of these holiday binds:

"I can't afford to buy gifts for everyone this year."

There are plenty of options that don't involve buying a gift for every person on your list. For example, you can suggest your family draw names and focus on one person this year. Along with being a money saver, it's also a time saver since you won't have to think of as many gift ideas or visit as many stores.

"My best friend bought me an expensive gift – and I can't afford to reciprocate."

Your first inclination may be to buy an equally expensive gift even if you can't afford it. Don't do it. Instead, remember your budget and think of a unique, thoughtful gift that falls within your price range. Often, it's these gifts that end up being treasured the most.

"I need to make money – not spend money – at work."

Between Secret Santa activities, cookie exchanges, gift collections and fundraising campaigns, you may feel like you're spending more money at work than you're actually bringing home. Rather than try to make your dollars stretch to cover every activity, pick and choose the ones you most want to participate in. For example, if you love to bake, opt for the cookie exchange and skip Secret Santa this year.

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