7 tips to avoid holiday debt

NEW YORK -- The holiday season puts people in a shopping and giving mood, but it is filled with temptations.

There are deals that seem too good to pass up, and parties and payments that creep up.

1. For starters, create a gifting plan. If you have a big family, maybe do Secret Santa or make a deal you only get the kids gifts. If you're buying for a teacher, go in with other parents to cut costs.

2. Next, you have to know what things cost to know if you're getting a deal versus a dud. If you have an eye on a certain TV or laptop, price shop it now so that when Black Friday rolls around you know if you're getting the lowest price.

3. You can also set up alerts to ding your phone with price drops.

4. It is a good idea to start shopping now. Spread out spending, that way you don't load up all the shopping in one chunk on your credit card or drain your savings and really feel that strain in December.

5. You can also avoid last minute fees, overnight or rush shipping. Start sending your gifts now on items that won't change a lot in price.

6. Another tip, where shopping early helps is buying discount gift cards. These can take a week or two to come in the mail but you can save up to 25 percent when you buy someone's unwanted gift card for less than the card's worth.

7. Next, if you are travelling over the mountain and through the woods the cost to get to grandma's house is going up as airfares are getting more expensive every day. Don't delay your booking!
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