Avoid big bills in January with simple budgeting and organizational tricks.―By Michael Kaminer
Stick to a smart holiday spending plan
If you've ever been slammed with last-minute shopping or decorating tasks, you know how fast the Christmas season can sneak up on you. Holiday expenses can do that, too. Getting caught up in the spirit means you sometimes focus more on presents and parties―and less on budgets. But there's nothing worse than a financial hangover come the new year, so we've developed a plan to help keep your spending on track. Follow our guide to creating and maintaining a budget, and you'll find you can manage your costs and still have plenty of time to savor the season.