Don't make a money mistake this holiday season

Don't make a money mistake this holiday season »Play Video
The consumer theme this holiday season seems to be "shop less, spend less and buy on sale."

If that's your strategy, don't let common holiday money mistakes defeat your purpose.

1. Getting blind-sided by discounts. Just because it seems like a great deal doesn't mean it's a smart buy, especially if it the item in question will never get used.

2. Forgetting about all the extras -- the decorations, the higher utility bills from lighting displays, food and entertaining, family photos, postage for shipping those holiday gifts. The costs add up quickly.

3. Buying on credit. Financial experts say people who use credit cards spend up to 30 percent more, than if they'd paid cash.

4. Not keeping the receipts. Without that receipt, you may be stuck if the gift doesn't work out.

5. Spending to impress. Why blow your budget for an image you can't afford?

6. Be careful not to over-give. It's not necessary to give gifts to everyone you know. Stick to the most important people in your life.

7. Giving out of guilt.

8. Buying cheap deals that are also cheap quality.

9. Procrastination, which almost always leads to spending more.

10. And wasting money on gifts that are tacky, inappropriate or just plain bad.

And here's another handy list of don'ts. These are items that frequently turn up on lists of the worst holiday gifts:

• Fruit cakes
• Novelty gadgets
• Nose hair trimmers
• Chia pets
• Snow globes (unless for collectors)
• Desk clutter (unless for collectors)
• Christmas ornaments (unless for collectors)
• Wallets (unless requested)
• Lingerie (unless specifically requested)
• Tacky holiday-themed apparel
• Mugs
• Weight loss books
• Wine for alcoholics
• Sweets for diabetics