It's that time of year again... the time when you get to spend some time with family and friends and experience some holiday cheer; hopefully.

But, it also can come at a giant cost.  So, how do you afford this time of year?  I know it is about giving and not receiving, but the giving part usually costs some sort of money.  What do you do if you are a bit strapped for cash?  There are some suggestions.

“Around the holidays there’s a lot of pressure to please everyone – your friends, partner, family, kids, whoever – and be extra generous,” said James Garvey, CEO of Self. “Unfortunately, people often equate generosity with spending a lot of money. That can leave you in a tight financial spot for months to come if you don’t prepare for it ahead of time.”

After the holidays it takes the average person about 4-5 months to pay off their holiday spending.  You can offset your spending by cutting back on other things leading up to the bit day.  Going out to eat, cut down on heat and electricity, parents not buying gifts for each other and just for the kids, not going on vacation are some of the ways people will cut back.  A great idea is picking up an extra job as seasonal help.  Plus, when you do that, generally there is a discount involved... so work where you would buy your gifts.  Win- win!

What do you do to save money during the holiday season?