Are you one of the 152 million people expecting to shop this weekend? This number is up 10% over last year and sales are expected to rise 2%. Everything I read about the economy revolves around high unemployment and low consumer confidence. So, how is this possible?

Is it habit, boredom, or not wanting to miss a “great” deal?

My advice: Extend Thanksgiving for the entire weekend and do not get caught in the spending frenzy. Thanksgiving seems to be the one day where we are content to socialize, watch some football and enjoy a good meal together. Notice there is no shopping mentioned. Extend this through the rest of the weekend.

Step 1: Agree to put your credit cards away, including no online shopping, until next week. I am highly confident that you will not regret it.

Step 2: Set your Holiday Spending plan, including budgets for gifts, holiday parties and meals, hostess gifts, etc. Be as specific as possible.

Step 3: Pay cash for holiday spending. If you just can’t pass up the cash back rewards or points on your credit cards, check in at the end of each week until the holidays are over to see how much you are spending versus your plan. Holiday spending can easily spin out of control. You need to stay one step ahead.

Step 4: Reflect on what you want the holidays to mean for you and your family. Do not feel obligated to give gifts. Most people tell me they want the holidays to be about creating family memories, giving thanks and cherishing their loved ones. No gift can convey these sentiments.

It is so very easy to get swept up into the spending frenzy. Marketing campaigns are everywhere! Take control and just say no… at least until Monday.