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Thursday, December 13th, 2007 -- 10:03 AM

'Tis the season?for overspending.

"Stores are masterful at encouraging impulse buying," warns Gayle Rose Martinez with UW-Extension in Clark County. "When we impulsively spend our money on a purchase we're buying things for the wrong reasons."

"We end up with ten things we didn't even thing about."

If you're standing in line waiting to check out and you realize you have too much, get out of line and put things back. If you've already overspent, return items, Martinez says.

What marketers won't tell you is family members and friends won't enjoy a gift if they know it's put you in financial dire straits.

"We think that if we purchase a brand name or something that's very popular for friends or children that will make them so happy. (But), if that friend or relative actually understood you hurt yourself by making that purchase, they would not be happy," Martinez says.

Before you head out, make a list and a budget and stick with it.

Oh, and not to be a Grinch or anything? that goes for charities, too.

"Sit down and say to yourself, 'these are charities I really want to support, and this is the amount of dollars I can give them," Martinez encourages. "Stay focused on your intent."

Martinez also says credit cards have become "invisible" spending. If you're using your credit card, keep track and don't go over set limits.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.