10 Ways to Make the Holidays Better—and Not Break the Bank

holiday hacksThis is one time of year when money certainly doesn't grow on trees.

In fact, in addition to all of our garden-variety financial obligations, we've got all those holiday to-dos taking a bite out of our budgets!

After all, you want to decorate in style, buy perfect gifts (without going perfectly broke) and cook up a storm. But is there a better way to do all of the above while saving money and stress?

First of all, we're big believers in thinking outside the (gift) box. And we're not alone: 45% of Americans say they will make at least one homemade gift this year, according to research from Chase Blueprint® and AOL.

RELATED: 8 D.I.Y. Holiday Gifts That Delight

But we could all use more quick and easy tips, so we asked some holiday “hackers” for advice on how they make this time of year a little less financially painful and a lot more festive.

Here are the top 10 tips we received for streamlining your holiday from savings experts, professional party planners and more. See if any might help you survive the season with your sanity—and budget—intact.

Got a hack of your own? Please share it in the comments!

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