NBC 7's Consumer Bob discusses the importance of making a budget before you start your Christmas shopping.
San Diegan Yolanda McKenzie knows why it's important to make a plan before doing her holiday shopping.
"I'm one of nine children so we always had to budget our gifts," said McKenzie.
Some people make a budget out of habit, others do it out of need.
"We both teach public school and have two little ones," said John Posternack. "So I wish it was for whatever we wanted, but we're on a budget."
Certified Financial Planner Mary Beth Storjohann says planning now for the holidays is critical.
"My big push is always, have a plan, buy presents, but just start with a plan," said Storjohann.
The founder of Workable Wealth says some of her clients don't really know how much they spent during the holiday season until the bills start arriving in January.
Storjohann says it is best to start with a list of people you are buying for and then put a dollar amount for each of those presents.
But she says there are more expenses to think about than just what goes under the tree.
"They should also have a budget for their holiday travel, for their holiday events and parties. There should be a long list of what your holiday expenses are," Storjohann explained.
But does creating a budget for everything take some of the fun out of shopping?
Well, Storjohann says Santa creates a list, so why shouldn't we?