Quiz: Rank Your Holiday Spending
The holiday season is filled with joy, family and gifts, but all of that celebrating comes at a cost. For example, the average shopper spent $365.34 during Black Friday weekend, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). Did you spend that much? Overall, do you spend more than the average American holiday spender? Find out with this easy quiz.

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  1. How much will you spend on holiday gifts?
    A) More than $100, less than $300
    B) More than $300, less than $500
    C) More than $500

If you chose C, you're closest to the average holiday spender. The average consumer is predicted to spend $518.08 on gifts in 2010, according to the NRF. Gifts for family members take up the bulk of that budget at an average of $393.55, with gifts for friends coming in second ($71.45), gifts for co-workers in third ($18.26) and other gifts making up the rest ($34.82). In 2010, the gift most adults want to receive is gift cards, with 56.97% requesting them instead of a particular item. (For more, see 5 Holiday Gifts That Keep On Giving.)

How much will you spend on holiday food?
A) $40-$50
B) $80-$90
C) $100-$120

If you chose B, you'd fit right into the average predicted spending of $86.32 on candy and food, according to the NRF's 2010 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey. In comparison, Americans spent on average $20.29 on candy at Halloween in 2010.

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  1. How much will you spend on yourself this holiday season?
    A) $0
    B) $50
    C) $100+

Those who chose C are thinking like the average holiday spender. The NRF predicts we'll spend $107.50 on ourselves while we shop for our loved ones. That number is up from $101.37 last year. According to the survey, 57.1% of shoppers plan to buy something for themselves this holiday season.

How much will you spend on decorations?

A) $20-$35
B) $40-$55
C) $60-$80

If you answered B, congratulations, you're average! The NRF predicts holiday shoppers will spend $41.51 on decorations – everything from the tree to the table. That's quite a bit higher than the average of $18.66 spent on Halloween decorations in 2010. (For more, check out Host A Holiday Party For Less.)

What will be your primary method of payment for this holiday season?
A) Cash
B) Debit
C) Credit Card

You may be surprised to hear that the answer is B. According to NRF's 2010 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions survey, 43% of consumers will reach for their debit cards first for this year's holiday purchases. That number is up 20% from 2005's survey. If you use a credit card primarily, you're among 27.6% of shoppers – the lowest percentage since the 2002 survey. Up from last year, 25.7% will use cash to pay for their holiday purchases.

It also seems that leaving that credit card at home for the rest of 2010 will serve you well. According to Credit.com, those who relied on credit cards ended up spending an extra $180 on average.

This holiday season, how much will you spend in total?
A) More than $100, less than $300
B) More than $300, less than $500
C) More than $500

If you answered C, you're in line with the NRF prediction of $688.87 on holiday-related shopping. Considering how much emphasis is put on holiday spending, this number may not seem all that high. However, it does represent a 1% increase from 2009, according to the National Retail Federation.

The Bottom Line
While this time of year is traditionally pricey, it doesn't mean you have to go completely overboard. The memories you'll keep from this time of year likely have nothing to do with price tags or the total amount you spent on someone – and those memories won't leave you with a holiday spending hangover in January. (For more, see Tips For Avoiding A Holiday Spending Hangover.)

Find out what happened in financial news this week. Read Water Cooler Finance: Steady Stocks, Big G's And Madoff News.

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