Think you are financially tapped out? Then you don't want to hear this. Financial experts are estimating the average American will likely spend close to $550 on Christmas gifts in December. That's up only $6 from last year.
For a few ways to curb some of those dollars and cents, the Virginia Cooperative Extension held a seminar Thursday evening at the Roanoke Library. Deb Chappell, who specializes in Family and Consumer Sciences told the audience one thing they could do to lessen the expense is give gifts that offer your own services like free baking, babysitting or a car wash. More expensive doesn't mean better so don't dismiss handing out things that are homemade like items you've canned.
"Jams, jellies, pickles. There are a lot of ways you can give really unique and appreciated gifts," says Chappell.
Experts recommend spending no more than 1.5% of your gross income. So, based on $30,000, you're Christmas spending should average around $450.
A few more tips, remember cash is king. By doing so, it could help you spend 20% less. Use a single envelope to store all of your holiday receipts. This will allow you track your spending faster.