It’s no fun to go into the holidays when you’re already in debt. It’s even possible to come out of the holidays in better financial shape if you stick to a few strategies.

1. Create a Holiday Budget

Decide how much you can spend overall and how much you can spend on each individual on your gift list.

2. Use Credit Card Awards to Reduce Costs

Review your rewards accounts for all your credit cards and pay for your gifts with points. You can redeem them for gift cards or merchandise or use them on Amazon if your credit card is eligible for.

3. Stick to Discount Stores Online

If you’re comfortable going out early in the morning when holiday sales are advertised, you’ll get first crack at the merchandise. But if you aren’t comfortable with in-store shopping, there are deals online.

4. Check Out Drugstores

You’d be surprised by the unique and inexpensive gifts you can find at drugstores.

5. Get a Credit Card With a 0% Intro APR on Purchases

A credit card with a 0% introductory APR on purchases allows you to make monthly payments on holiday expenses without paying interest during the intro period.

6. Choose a Debt-Reduction Strategy for the New Year

Consider getting a balance transfer credit card with a 0% introductory APR. If you don’t qualify for a balance transfer credit card, look into other options that might reduce your interest rates, such as a debt consolidation loan.

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