Everyone wants to save money during the holidays, but no one wants to feel like a Scrooge. That's why all those noble plans to cut back gift lists and exchange only homemade jams and hand-knit scarves usually fall apart. Who wants to feel like a cheapskate during the season of giving? But Jeffrey Yeager, author of The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches, thinks we need to take a new attitude toward seasonal spending. He points out that each holiday season, Americans spend more than $400 billion—about $700 per person—mostly on gifts that are quickly forgotten. Before you blow all that cash, Yeager recommends adjusting both your perspective and your spending habits for the happiest holiday ever.
For starters, do a brief review of the most memorable Christmas gifts you received as a kid. "How many holiday gifts from your youth do you remember?" asks Yeager. "How many memories from those celebrations do you appreciate? The memories are what stuck with me, not all the stuff."