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Once every year, many Americans overcook, overeat, and overspend in order to ensure that family and friends have a fabulous Thanksgiving.  InCharge Debt Solutions urges everyone to use moderation and common sense this year so you don’t break the budget in order to enjoy the celebration.

money “Many American holidays have ‘matured’ into celebrations that include expensive decorations and lavish meals,” said Etta Money, InCharge’s president.  “Your friends at InCharge want to stress that what’s important during Thanksgiving is not overspending to impress, but spending time with those you love.  That’s why we have compiled our best tips, a list of great online tools, and even some smart phone apps you can use to avoid overspending this year.”

Here are five tips to follow so your Thanksgiving is fun, but not expensive:

1 – Don’t go in cold turkey – plan a realistic budget well in advance, one that considers what you can really afford to spend on the holiday (in cash), not what you’d “like” to spend.

2 – Think like a Pilgrim – the fairytale version of early Thanksgivings included a focus on saying thank you, and not trying to impress those in attendance, so be modest and frugal.

3 – Remember the trimmings – not the stuffing, the decorations!  Don’t buy them, make them!  Look online and you’ll find easy-to-make, inexpensive ways to decorate your home and table.

4 – Ask everyone to give thanks – ask family and friends to bring a prepared dish, dessert or the wine, and build those items into your budgeting and planning.

5 – Involve the natives – invite your children, or some who may be attending, to prepare decorations, easy-to-make snacks, or lead after-dinner games rather than spend on entertainment.

Here are a few online tools you can use to plan a budget for Thanksgiving this year:

Turkey dinner calculator - http://www.csgnetwork.com/turkeydinnercalc.html

Thanksgiving budget - http://www.instructables.com/image/FQYGX8YQ5ZEUR4U565

Home budget calculator - http://www.incharge.org/money-101/news/home-budget-calculator-incharge-debt-solutions

We also found a fabulous article that lists the best smart phone apps to help you plan and be “intelligent” with your money this Thanksgiving (it was done in 2011, but it has some great app suggestions for 2012):

http://www.mainstreet.com/slideshow/smart-spending/technology/best-apps-thanksgiving-2011

Categories: Family & Home, How to, Shopping


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