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6 Money-Saving Tips For Holiday Shopping05:54
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Americans love holiday shopping. Nineteen percent of people survey by the firm Accenture spent between $100 and $500 on holiday gifts by mid-September.

But as the spending season kicks into high gear, Washington Post personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary says you can learn to spend wisely.

6 Holiday Shopping Tips From Michelle Singletary

  • For big-ticket items, use a credit card. There are more protections, and you can earn points. Don't do this if you can't afford to pay it off by the next billing cycle.
  • Keep your credit card spending to less than 30 percent of your available credit card balance. Spending more than 30 percent can bring down your credit score.
  • Sign up for loyalty cards at your favorite stores, and get their email newsletters, which often include early information on sales and deals.
  • Don't go to the mall if you don't have a plan. The music and smells of food are designed to keep you there longer so you spend more. Shop online instead.
  • An app called "Shop Advisor" keeps track of the products you want to buy and alerts you when the price drops.
  • The "Red Laser" app lets you scan a barcode, and it finds the best price online or at a particular store in your area.

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This segment aired on November 28, 2014.

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