Many of you started your bargain hunting right after you finished your turkey. Some of you are planning to hit the mall today. Either way there’s a good chance you’ll be spending a lot of money this weekend. And there are some ways to make sure you don’t fall behind the financial ‘eight-ball.’

Financial planner Margo Geddie says the plan is really simple.

“Know how much you can spend. If you stick to it you won’t overspend,” Geddie told KTRH. “Set a budget. Make a list of people you plan to buy for and stick to it.”

But it may be easier said than done. Some people like to go to extremes. Like this woman, who rented a U-Haul for their shopping trip.

“It was only twenty dollars. We’re still doing pretty good,” she told our TV partner, Local 2.

Geddie says the shoppers think they're getting a deal, but there's only one way to make sure.

“If you don’t pay your card off immediately, you can gobble up that discount by the interest charges on your credit card,” Geddie explained.

According to the numbers you'll probably spend a little over 400 dollars this weekend.

“The average shopper will spend about $423 over the holiday weekend. Two-thirds will be using either cash or a debit card,” Geddie said. 

According to the numbers you'll probably spend a little over 400 dollars this weekend.

Stores try to stay a step ahead of you

Black Friday used to be the only game in town. Then stores started opening on Thanksgiving a few years ago. And some of you would rather shop at home than at the mall. Financial planner Clark Hodges says the stores are getting nervous.

“They are pulling out all the stops, because things like Cyber Monday are getting more and more popular every year,” Hodges said.

And for most men, Hodges says shopping online is very attractive.

“That’s a great thing. You don’t have to fight through traffic or look for a parking space. You don’t have to maneuver your way through malls that are overflowing with people,” Hodges explained. 

So then how do they make money during the holiday shopping season?

“Their profit margins aren’t great. But all they want to do is get you into the store. And while you’re there you might wind up buying more things that are on your list because they catch your eye. You end up spending more just because you went into the store. That’s the mentality,” Hodges said.

And a lot of times, they are right.