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This holiday season each of us is expected to spend about $998 on gifts. That’s a lot of money! In addition, the average household already owes nearly $8,000 in credit card debt. During this expensive time of year, you should keep an eye on your wallet.

WalletHub’s editors have compiled six-holiday shopping tips to help you give more, spend less, and worry about money as little as possible. Check out these helpful tips to spend less and give more this holiday season below.

  • 1. Make A Budget & Payback Plan

    It might seem like broken-record advice, but you should really determine how much you can afford, who you need to buy gifts for, and what other expenses you are likely to incur. Plan your budget accordingly. WalletHub, of course, makes the process easier for you by offering a suggested budget for the holidays. However, you should still plan how to use it wisely if you want to make everyone, including your wallet, happy. It’s easy to get so caught up in the holiday spirit that your wallet suffers a nasty New Year’s hangover. The last three months of the year are typically when we rack up the most credit card debt. Consider a 0% APR credit card if you expect to need more than one billing period to pay off your holiday expenses. Use a credit card payoff calculator to make sure you’ll be out of debt before the regular interest rate kicks in.

  • 2. Avoid Retailers’ Special Financing Offers

    Do not use your normal credit card or take advantage of retailer financing if you anticipate that your holiday expenses will lead to a balance you can’t reply to immediately. Credit cards often charge high-interest rates – the average is about 19% – and if you didn’t get one specifically for financing, it probably won’t be helpful. In addition, most of the store credit cards that offer 0% introductory rates come with deferred interest, which can result in unexpected costs. Instead, find a general-purpose card with no annual fee and the longest possible 0% intro period.

  • 3. Have A Rewards Strategy

    Credit cards offer historic value right now. According to our latest Credit Card Landscape Report, the average rewards credit card offers an initial bonus of $206 in cash or 27,156 points/miles. In addition, the best offers can be worth over $500. Basically, the right card could cut the average person’s holiday budget in half. Plus, wouldn’t you be thrilled about a 10% – 30% off sale at one of your favorite stores? Well, that’s the discount some of the best store credit cards give you on your first purchase. Even the best cash-back credit cards can save you 2% on everything. You just need to apply soon enough to have your new card by the time you do your shopping.

  • 4. Hunt For Deals

    The best retailers for Black Friday usually give up to 70% off. The best Cyber Week deals are almost as sweet, offering as much as 60% off. And those are just the high-profile annual options. Retailers also hold more impromptu sales this time of year, and you can often find big-time savings online from sites such as eBay. Moreover, perusing “daily deal” and coupon sites, comparing prices from various retailers, and avoiding last-minute transportation all are among the myriad ways we can keep holiday costs in check.

  • 5. Give Cash

    It might seem impersonal, but cash is also much simpler and infinitely more versatile than any other present you could give. Gift cards are another good option, especially since the most popular offers have decent resale value. You can also give gift cards for shares of companies’ stock.

  • 6. Give Back

    Roughly one-third of the year’s charitable giving occurs during the month of December, according to various reports. So why not join the merry crew spreading holiday cheer to those in need? There are plenty of great causes to choose from if you’re feeling generous, and your donations will help you out when tax season rolls around if you itemize your deductions.

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