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Nothing can derail best-laid plans, and holiday budgets, quite like the mad dash to get it all done in the last week of Christmas shopping. These two iPhone apps can help you avoid over-spending — or buying for the same person on your list over and over again — by keeping you organized, on task, and on budget, all from the palm of your hand.
Better Christmas List ($0.99, iTunes)
For the past three holiday seasons, this bad boy has saved me hundreds of hours of frustration and hundreds of "lost dollars" by helping me track my progress, my purchases, my postage, and every penny spent. The countdown to Christmas ticker at the top of the screen is a red-light reminder to focus on one person or one present at a time, and (especially with a large family) the status tracker easily keeps an eye on which presents still need to be bought, wrapped, or shipped. Highly recommended, and worth every cent.
No More Socks ($0.99, iTunes)
I'm a sucker for witty names, and nobody wants to stuff Christmas stockings with, well, stockings, anyhow. So I downloaded this competitor to my favorite failsafe app and, though I wasn't disappointed (quite the contrary), this heavy app is for seriously organized shoppers and those who want to keep all their shopping notes and wish lists, all year 'round, collected in the same place, not for procrastinators. It's a wonderful app at a wonderful price that has powerful potential to save time, money, sanity, and the embarrassment of showing up empty-handed, but probably not the best for last-minute shopping unless you take a few hours up front to properly set up and condense your contacts and use some quick creative thinking.
Story: Copyright, Shoestring LLC. Image: Courtesy of iTunes.