The holiday season can be one of the hardest times of the year on your pocketbook and your budget if you are not careful. Here are three financial tips that will help you make it through this holiday season without overdrawing your bank account and raiding your savings:

#1 Figure Out Your Budget First

Before you start buying presents for anyone, figure out what your overall budget is for holiday presents. Look at your income, and see how much money you can set aside for all the gifts you need or want to purchase during the holiday season.

Next, come up with a list of the individuals you want or need to purchase presents for. Be sure to think carefully about friends, family and work acquaintances that you exchange gifts with. Once you have your budget set and a list of who you need to buy presents for, set an individual budget for each person. Maybe you only want to budget $20 for the person you share a cubicle with, but want to spend $200 on your spouse.

Set a written budget for each person on your list that fits within your overall holiday budget. This will help you get presents for everyone on your list without going broke or without splurging where you shouldn't.

#2 Find Ways To Cut Gift Giving

If you find after completing tip number one that you have too many people to give gifts to, see if you can find ways to cut back on your gift giving. For example, if you exchange small presents with everyone in your office, see if your office would be interesting in doing a gift exchange or Secret Santa instead.

The same goes for groups of friends and even family members. Try and see if you can get people to agree to Secret Santa, Red Elephant or simply drawing names. Your friend, family, and even people in your workplace may appreciate the respite from having to purchase gifts for so many people.

#3 Be Careful With Your Credit Card

Finally, be careful with how you use your credit card during the holiday season. If you get great rewards with your credit card, use it to purchase your holiday presents. Just make sure that you pay off your balance right away.

For example, if you go holiday shopping and put the gifts on your credit card, be sure to pay off the balance when you get your next paycheck. Carrying a high balance can cause your credit score to take a nosedive over the holiday season. Credit scores that quickly plummet can take a while to build back up.

This holiday season, only use your credit card to buy gifts if you can pay it right off and create a budget now for holiday gift spending and stick to it. Contact a financial planning service for more information and assistance.