If you put off your holiday shopping until November or December, it will likely cost you more money, time and stress! Financial advisor Brad Allen talks with Milwaukee’s WTMJ-4 about why it’s time to embrace Christmas in July! He shares 4 tips to get started:

1. Put Pen to Paper – If you do nothing else this month, put yourself in a good position by making out a holiday gift list. Fill in gift ideas, and most importantly, a budget for each person on your list. And then check it twice when you go out shopping to make sure you’re sticking to your budget. You may have to cut from one area if you go over in another.

2. Stockpile Savings – Now that you know how much you want to spend, here comes the tough question: Do you have the money saved or are you banking on your credit cards? Start by brown bagging it for lunch three times a week. Look at gym memberships, cable channels or magazine subscriptions you’re not using.

3. Cut Card Costs – The US Postal Service wants to raise prices on first-class stamps by a penny or more. Even if you mail 100 cards, stocking up on stamps will only save you a dollar or two. But it’s still something you can do now before you’re feeling the holiday pinch.

4. Score in the Off-Season – ‘Tis not the season for coats, scarves and sweaters, which means you can probably find good deals on winter-weather items that will make perfect holiday gifts. By starting your shopping early, you can take advantage of off-season sales and clearances.

Click here for a holiday budget worksheet.