Just in case you are still shopping, there are some last minute pre-Christmas and year-end sales on our website www.AlanBestBuys.com and I will add more last-minute deals to our home page as we receive them.

But chances are most if not all of your holiday shopping is now done. Good for you. If you have some extra holiday money don't rush out and spend it without giving it some thought. You might want to use some of it to get your 2016 budget ready. Here are some ideas for using that extra money:

1. Consider putting that extra holiday money away for when the holiday bills arrive in January and February. Financial planners say if you can pay off your holiday bills within 3 months you are in good shape.

2. Consider using that extra holiday money for a savings account. Surveys show that 20% of Americans do not have a savings account and 62% of Americans have less than $1,000 in a savings account.

3. Consider using that extra holiday money to pay down other debts and credit cards. The average American household has $15,355 of credit card debt.

4. Consider using that extra holiday money for a long-term plan such as college, saving for a new home, or saving for a new car. Statistics show that 49% of families do not have a college savings plan for their kids.

If you have those four steps covered then let's look at option number five:

5. Consider putting that extra holiday money aside for the January sales.

There are several big sales and big events coming up in January and February including:

January Clearance Sales
January White Sales on Appliances
January sales on mattresses
Martin Luther King Birthday Sales
Valentines Day
Presidents Day Sales

And here's a tip that can save you money in 2016 and it won't cost you anything and you don't need any money to get it:

Check your credit reports for free. Be sure there are no bogus accounts and no one has tampered with your ID. You can find out how to get your credit reports for free by going to the "Consumer Watch" page of our website.