It's the time for giving, and maybe you set a holiday shopping budget for your shopping this year.

If you did, you are certainly not alone. According to americanresearchgroup.com, many shoppers do, and for this shopping season, the average amount of expected spending nationally was $861.

That number is up 8% from last year and that's some good news for retailers. Of course, national numbers always are a little lower than our numbers here in the Garden State, so you should certainly take that into consideration.

I am happy to say that I am way below my budget for shopping this year, and I attribute that to one very important factor. I haven't started shopping yet. Check with me ion a few weeks, and I'm sure I'll have a different story to tell, and I'm sure I won't be the only one!