Financial experts say you should plan now for holiday spending

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Financial experts say the early bird is less likely to bust a holiday budget, especially if they start setting aside cash now. (KTRK)

It may still be summer, but now might be the best time to start planning your holiday shopping.

Financial planning experts say starting your holiday lists now could help save you money in the long run.

"The first part comes with just making a budget, making a list, and kind of planning some commitments with yourself around what's going to be feasible for you to spend this holiday," Beverly Ladley of Suntrust Banks tells CNN Money. "Once you have that list, you can really be looking out for deals and taking advantage of sales in advance."

Ladley says an early spending plan can also help put more money in a holiday budget if you use credit cards with rewards attached.

"If you think about many of the benefits that different providers offer, and you're very thoughtful about your gas and your groceries, if you do use a credit card, you can then redeem that for cash in December and you can have a little extra money in your picket for those last-minute gifts," says Ladley.

If that doesn't work for you, another option is to use the out of sight, out of mind plan. Ladley suggest you deposit a portion of every paycheck directly into a separate savings account. That way when holiday shopping begins, you'll already have the cash saved up to finish your entire list.
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