Tom Smart, Deseret News
Sandra Ferrara helps a customer at the Salvation Army Thrift Store, as many are downsizing Christmas and shopping in thrift stores Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011, in West Valley City, Utah.

SALT LAKE CITY — Budgets and Christmas spirit aren't always the best of friends when excitement in gift giving overrules fiscal wisdom, but a Kiplinger live chat with personal finance advisors addressed how to maintain a budget during the holidays.

Rich Frazier, CFP of Frazier Financial Consultants, suggested discussing with a spouse — or else determining yourself — what amount will be spent during Christmas the coming year. Each month throughout the year, set aside a designated amount of money to create a Christmas fund.

Kiplinger supported the separate account for the Christmas season.

Sitting down and making a list of people you need to get presents for and a possible gift, as well as the dollar amount, helps determine how much needs to be saved, as was suggested by Lea Ann Knight of Garrison/Knight Financial Planning.

"That way," Knight said in the Wednesday chat, "the impulse buys can be kept to a minimum."

Shopping throughout the year for Christmas gifts allows the gift to have year-round use, as well as saves you money, as long as it is tracked and you stay within your budget, said David John Marotta, the CFP, AIF and President of Marotta Wealth Management, Inc.