Hey buddy can you spare $747 dollars? Well, don't choke on that amount because that's how much the average person spends on holiday expenses according to Money magazine.

People dig themselves into a financial trench at the holidays that they don't get out of until the following MAY! That's 5 months of financial stress! And guys are the biggest culprits. Judy Lawrence is a financial counselor and she says men "shop dumb". And here are 3 reasons why:

Number one: Guilt. Men buy gifts out of guilt to make up for their bad behavior the rest of the year. They pile on the lavish gifts and think it'll smooth over all the other problems and wash the slate clean. Hey guys: It doesn't.

Number two: Men turn gift giving into a competition. Will your little brother out-spend you on a gift for mom? Did your buddy buy his wife something from Tiffany? Men feel compelled to stay on top, even in gift giving. And the third reason guys "shop dumb": They don't have a budget or a plan. They wait until the last minute and then buy whatever they feel like with no regard for what they can actually afford. Okay, so now you know what you do wrong.

Here's how to get it right: Give the gift of time!! This is a biggie! Does your Dad really want an Armani necktie? Or would he like to spend an afternoon on the links with you? Does your Mom really want a necklace   or would she rather have you come over and clean her gutters and stay for dinner?

And what about a gift for your wife? This is your highest gift hurdle. But hasn't she been telling you all year what she wants? More intimate talks, more physical closeness. Or how about the garage she's been nagging you to clean up all year. Make a nice card and give her exactly what she's been asking for. Bottom line: People prefer gifts from the heart not the credit card.