On Nov. 13, Blasting News talked exclusively with nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert Andrea Woroch, who has shared her spending-savvy tips and tricks via several national programs including Good Morning America, Today, and Dr. Oz, to help gift-givers avoid the financial pitfalls of poor planning.

With consumers set to spend a mind-boggling $630 billion on holiday gift giving in 2015, the skeleton key to maintaining financial responsibility when it's tempting to overspend is simple: set and stick to a budget. Waroch suggested that shoppers who venture out on Black Friday – or at any time – "have a plan.

Have a list of items you want to buy, research the prices in advance so that you don't fall for any misleading offers, and then shop with cash so you can't spend more than you budgeted for."

Unexpected expenses that can bust holiday shopping budgets

Shoppers should also remember to leave "extra cushion and wiggle room" in the budget for unexpected expenses, including postage for holiday cards, baby-sitting, or restocking fees, since "these little expenses add up... and can bust your budget."

Woroch offered up a suggestion for just how consumers should go about saving their hard-earned cash. Rather than relying on plastic to make gift purchases – which 49 percent of shoppers who responded to a recent survey said they planned to do – she advised that shoppers open savings accounts designed for only holiday-related expenses.

"This way, it's out of sight, it's out of mind, and you're not tempted to use it," she explained.

In fact, Woroch cautioned against opening store credit cards, which she termed "one of the biggest don'ts during the holiday season" because of their "high interest rates," "expensive late fees," and lack of access to consistent reward-building opportunities.

If using a credit card is a necessity, she advised sticking with one already in your wallet and paying it off in full at the end of the month to avoid interest charges.

Finding extra cash around the house to help establish a budget and pad your reserves isn't nearly as challenging as shoppers might think.

Woroch outlined several sources of extra holiday money, including unredeemed gift cards, the sale of unused or unwanted items, and trading spare change for cash. She suggested using Coinstar kiosks found in grocery stores around the nation to trade coins – which 88 percent of respondents to a recent survey admitted to having around the house – for cash or fee-free egift cards to stores including Amazon, Toys R Us, and Starbucks.

Expand the holiday budget with coupons and apps

Woroch also urged consumers to take advantage of a host of apps that can help increase savings. "It's really important to comparison shop and to ask retailers to price match," she explained. She recommended ShopSavvy, which "narrows down prices from local stores as well as online retailers so you know where to find [a specific item] for the least expensive price," as well as Coupon Sherpa's mobile coupon app.

With a little planning, your financial situation can remain merry and bright even after Santa's return to the North Pole.

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