Steps To Manage Your Debt and Feel Good About Holiday Spending and Shopping

1. Make A Budget And A Shopping List For Each Recipient

Look back at what you spent last year and then keep a record of all gift purchases and holiday expenses. It is hard for shoppers to make a budget and easy to underestimate their spending. So over budget for your list. The average holiday shopper will spend approximately $750 on gifts, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation: $420 on children, parents and other relatives; $75 on friends; $23 on co-workers; $28 on others; $100 on food and candy; $28 on greeting cards; and $19 on flowers.

2. Review Your Shopping Habits Now Before You Start Shopping

If you can't afford to pay off your credit card in November, you can't afford to add a lot more to it in December. Generosity to friends or the perfect gift for the family are not good reasons to put yourself deeper into debt. If you must use a credit card to pay for Christmas, make sure you can make the payments on it.

3. If You Are Looking For A New Credit Card, Considering Applying Now

If the card has a zero-percent introductory rate for purchases for a year or longer, you can use your card as a great option for holiday spending. This is recommended only if you pay it off before the interest charges begin. Check out our Offers page for some great options.

4. Check Out Partner Programs

Most credit card issuers have a partner program that offers discounts or bonuses for online purchases with certain companies. Programs vary by issuer, but the partners could be stores where you already shop. Discover ( DFS) turns $20 rewards into $25 gift cards. Citi gives an additional 1% to 5% cash back when you shop at their online partners.

5. Shop on Ebates

Earn cash back while shopping from the convenience of your home. On Ebates get up to 40% Cash Back at over 2,500 stores No points. No fees. No forms. Earn Cash Back on your purchases. Follow our links and let the shopping begin. Cash Back will be added to your account when your order is reported.