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OC Financial Professional's Tips To Avoid Holiday Spending Mistakes

Shoppers Hunt for Post Holiday Bargains in Austin
(credit: Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)

In this economy, it's not rare for families to struggle, especially during the holiday season. Mark Whalen, senior vice president of Orange County Business Bank, recommends planning ahead and taking straightforward, logical financial steps to help you stick to your budget by avoiding overspending mistakes. Focus on strategic holiday shopping in Orange County, making a plan, spending less and thinking ahead, he said. The consensus from experts is to look at solid, realistic, constructive goals, and to assess your finances, take action and then be fluid in finding pragmatic solutions as circumstances evolve. Follow a few simple steps, and stop by these money-saving options for gifting without guilt-tripping yourself into overspending this holiday season.

newport kids consignment
(credit: Newport Kids Consignment)

Newport Kids Consignment
1775 Newport Blvd., Suite A
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(949) 548-2849
Price: 40 to 70 percent off retail prices

In looking at constructive financial goal this holiday season, Newport Kids Consignment is a great option. Kids' gifts can be expensive, but Newport Kids Consignment allows you to purchase like-new gifts at a discount price, and this store is a great example of a creative, valuable resource in getting your holiday shopping done effectively. This is the type of creative, effective and flexible solution Whalen says helps families make it through the holidays without overspending. After all, all the kids really care about are the toys on Christmas.

irvine woodbridge movies 5
(credit: Woodbridge Movies 5)

Woodbridge Movies 5
4626 Barranca Parkway
Irvine, CA 92604
(949) 733-0980
Price: $2

Everyone loves a night at the movies. Giving gift cards can seem a little generic, but it also sets your spending limit for recipients' gifts. Done right, giving gift cards still covers the gift-giving need, and it's still better than generic cologne or perfume sets nobody uses - ever. Woodbridge Movies 5 offers gift cards, and it's one of the area's better places to catch a show. Financial decision making starts at this low level, in deciding to give a worthwhile, but monetarily pre-determined gift like a night out on you and yours.

Best Movies Set In Orange County

roger's gardens gifts
(credit: Roger's Gardens)

Roger's Gardens
2301 San Joaquin Hills Road
Corona del Mar, CA 92625
(949) 640-5800
Price: from $9.99

For holiday-themed gifts, especially if you want to take the wine or green bean casserole out of your regular rotation, Roger's Gardens' discounts have you covered. Snag holiday collectibles perfect for giving that timeless gift families will bust out every Christmas. Because it's family owned, expect reasonable prices and discounts perfect for making this a great stop this season. The store also offers a 2012 holiday boutique gallery in celebration of the magic of Christmas and, of course, your patronage. Providing more than 35 years of strong service, the store is a staple of Orange County during the holidays.

The golden dreidle
(credit: The Golden Dreidle)

The Golden Dreidle
2626 Dupont Drive, Suite 40
Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 955-0900
Price: from $2.99

If not everyone in your life is celebrating Christmas, don't fret. Honor everyone's holiday traditions at The Golden Dreidle. Hanukkah starts Dec. 8, but The Golden Dreidle carries a remarkably well-received variety of items specifically suited for the holiday. It's not just a holiday decoration and celebration store, it's a great option for less expensive Hanukkah-themed gifts perfect for the season. Especially great for the kids, shoppers can snag all sorts of games here as well.

huntington beach central park disc golf course
(credit: City of Huntington Beach)

Huntington Beach Central Park (Disc Golf Course)
Golden West Street
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
(714) 425-9931
Price: $2 per disc rental/$1 to play disc golf Mon to Fri/$2 to play disc golf Sat to Sun

Instead of buying individual gifts for friends this year, hold a cheap, easy get-together. Agree to bring foods instead of gifts to share with everyone. Put all of your shopping energy into planning active time together. It's important to remember that family and friends who share similar interests will especially enjoy sharing in an activity and your company as much as a hastily purchased, last-minute gift. Share in 5,000 square feet of joyous outdoor bonding activity and bring a picnic for a day of holiday fun that you don't even have to prep the house for.

Related: Best Adult Hockey Leagues In Orange County

Will Engel is a musician and music journalist with eight years of experience. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Will is a singer, keyboardist/pianist, and songwriter who released a well-received album and frequently performs around Southern California. He lives in the Los Angeles area. His work can be found at

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