New Ways to Budget for the Holidays

Making a holiday budget is nothing new for Tina Levy's family, but it has come in handy the past few years as they've had to cut back on their cheerful spending.

"And we don't shop as much. They get cards from us," said Levy.

A new survey finds 45 percent of Americans will cut the costs of gifts this year, with one in four planning to give homemade presents.

Tina and her husband are always on the lookout for bargain deals. Sometimes starting as early as post-Christmas sales the year before.

They decide on a gift limit for their two kids and make it a point to leave the credit cards at home.

"It's important to us because we don't want to go over our limit. We don't want to be in debt," said Levy.

Monica Horton with the BBB says that you can't make a holiday budget without having an overall budget already in place.

Figure out your income, then consider regular monthly expenses.

And remember along with the presents, are several other costs that come with Christmas.

"You have travel expenses, extra food expenses when people are coming in for the holidays. You also have to consider charitable donations even if it is just walking by the Salvation Army bucket and putting $20 in there," said Horton.

Tina says her family spreads the costs of the meal throughout their entire family.

"This year it's going to be at our house, so we've already set the plans for what we're going to prepare and the family likes to pitch in too so they bring their dishes too," said Levy.

Lindsey Rogers, Newschannel Six.