LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Door busting deals this Black Friday can also lead to emotional and financial stress. A local financial expert has six ways to avoid overspending.

According to Lonny Powell of Alliance Retirement Solutions, shoppers spent more than $650 billion last year on the holidays and it’s expected that they will spend more this year. A study showed that 25 percent of parents made unsound financial decisions to cover their holiday expenses like dipping into their retirement savings or their emergency fund.

He said with some planning throughout the holiday season, shoppers can avoid racking up credit card debt.

Here are six ways to help survive the madness before, during and after hitting shopping in Powell's Black Friday Financial Guide.

1. Make a Game Plan

Before ever stepping foot inside the store, take inventory of who you're shopping for, what you’re shopping for and how much you can spend.

Write it out on a sheet of paper to help you stay focused on the task at hand to stick to at the store. Click here for a holiday budget worksheet.

2. Gear Up Your Phone

A lot of stores have apps that send deals and coupons right to your phone. If a store doesn’t have an app check their website to sign up for their email list. You will have deals sent right to your inbox.

When the holiday season is over, unsubscribe from their email list to prevent any future spending temptation.

3. Ration Your Cash 

If you can, Powell recommends using cash this holiday season and separating it into envelopes.

Swiping a credit card can be easy to lose track of how much you are spending. Using cash provides a visual reminder that you are spending your hard-earned money.

If you do have to use a credit card for a purchase make the purchase on your lowest interest rate card and make sure you pay it off.

4. Ask Questions  

When you are in the store, ask workers how long certain sales will last, if there is more in the back or what the store return policy is.

If there is a specific sale item you are looking for, bring the Black Friday ad with you. Ask a worker and they should be able to point you in the right direction.

In the checkout line, ask other Black Friday goers what deals they are hitting up next or other sales you should scope out. You might get a money-saving tip from a fellow shopper.

5. Always Be On the Lookout 

Sometimes Black Friday deals is the only time you can get a real steal on big purchases.

Why shop just the holidays? Buy One Get One sales are a good opportunity to buy presents upcoming birthdays or weddings.

Buying now can save money later in the year and crosses one more thing off the to-do list.

6. Document Everything

Remember that holiday budget you filled out before shopping? After returning home, take notes on where you saved or where you overspent.

See where your budget is and how much you have left to spend or where you need to cut back as the holidays get closer.

Hold onto this for next year to compare notes.

Most importantly, keep your receipts. These will show you exactly where you spent your money. They are also helpful in case of the inevitable exchange or return.

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