Following the national holiday of Thanksgiving on Thursday, Black Friday represents the busiest shopping day for U.S. consumers, many of whom will take advantage of a second day off work to start their Christmas shopping.

But what if money is tight this year? How can cash strapped Americans stay on a budget while shopping for everyone they're going to give gifts to this year and not run over?

That dilemma then carries down to each individual gift purchase, as our hypothetical shopper must also work how much to spend on a gift for each person they'll give one to this holiday season. Surely there must be a super smart way to work out how much to spend on each gift for each person on their shopping lists before they go out on a Black Friday buying binge!

You're in luck! Brain Candy and Beyond IQ author Garth Sundem shows how to apply math to solve this problem of gift-giving with a budget:

Obviously, that kind of math is hard to work out while on the go, so we're happy to present a tool to help you make your shopping list! Just enter the indicated data below into our generic list below and we'll work out how much you should target spending on each. (For the default amount of spending, we've entered the amount that Price Waterhouse Coopers reports that Americans plan to spend on Christmas gifts in 2018, but if that's not what you plan to spend, change it!):

Input Data Amount
Individual for Whom You're Shopping Their Importance to You [On a Scale of 1 to 10]
Person A
Person B
Person C
Person D
Person E
Person F
Person G
Person H
Person I
Person J

Calculated Results Values
Person A
Person B
Person C
Person D
Person E
Person F
Person G
Person H
Person I
Person J

We'll leave it as an exercise to you to identify just who Person A, B, C, etc. are when you print out the list and take it with you while shopping.

But if you're more the type to take advantage of Cyber Monday deals, we can accommodate you there too - here are a number of the Black Friday deals that Amazon is offering in 2018:

Finally, Garth has recently added a third entry to his Real Kids, Real Stories series of books for kids, which might fit the bill if you're shopping for youngsters this holiday season - here are links to all the books in the series:

Let's be safe shopping out there this Black Friday!