Trimming your gift list may not be enough to help you stick to a holiday budget this year.
Presents are still the No. 1 category for spending, with shoppers expected to shell out $458 on them this year, according to Deloitte. That's up 9 percent from last year, and represents 35 percent of the typical shopper's overall $1,299 holiday budget.
But parties can be a stealth budget buster. Deloitte expects spending on "socializing away from home" to rise 15 percent, to an average $310. Costs to host a party are up 22 percent, to an average $194. Combined, that's almost 39 percent of your budget. (Solidly 50 percent, if you factor in the $144 in holiday spend on "nongift clothing"—because let's face it, you're not buying a holiday-themed sweater or sparkly party dress to hang out at home alone.)
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"The first thing I think about when I hear the dollars and cents is, life is short," said etiquette consultant Jodi R. R. Smith, author of "From Clueless to Class Act." "If you have the opportunity to celebrate the season with people you love, do it. Just don't go into debt doing it."