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The official U.S. holiday shopping season will begin in earnest with Black Friday while in Canada, the bargain-hunting has already begun.

If you are one of the many Canadians struggling with record debt, you might be looking for ways to curb your holiday spending.

Personal finance experts agree that making a budget - and sticking to it - is a good place to start. Leaving you credit card at home and paying with cash is another great way to steer clear of debt woes down the road. But if you still have further questions on how to avoid a consumer holiday hangover, take heart.

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Janet Peddigrew, vice-president with Bank of Montreal in Kitchener-Waterloo, answered your questions.

Ms. Peddigrew has spent more than 25 years with BMO managing various programs, overseeing financial planners and mortgage specialists. She gave us these tips on how to live within your means back in August.



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