HOLIDAY SPENDING: Advice from a Grand Strand financial expert

Local News

SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The National Retail Federation reports people will spend more on holiday gifts and festivities this year than in years passed.

On average, the NFA reports people will spend more than $1,000 this holiday season on gifts, food and parties. People will spend about $600 of that on presents.

Although the holidays can be straining financially, Brian Brady, an accountant and personal financial specialist says there are things you can do to reduce the burden this season.

He says using cash instead of credit cards can help you spend less, as you are able to see exactly how much you’re spending when you have to physically count out cash.

If you do opt to make Christmas purchases on a credit card, Brady says to pay it off as quickly as possible, but never stop putting money into savings.
“Get out as quickly as you can,” Brady says. “Pay off that credit card and you may not be able to do it right away, it may take months to do it.”

Brady adds, do your shopping in-person rather than online because you’re less likely to make impulse purchases in-store. Another way to help reduce impulse buys, stick to a shopping list.

But, above all Brady says, have the discipline to make a budget and stick to it.

He tells News13, he’s noticed an increase in holiday spending as the internet makes it more convenient for people to shop.

Brady says the marketing surrounding the holidays can put pressure on people to spend on lavish gifts, but the financial toll can last long after the New Year.

Brady, a grand father of 15, says the holiday season can be especially taxing on parents or grand parents looking to spoil the children in their family.

“You want to do for the grand kids, but some of the costs of these presents are like out of sight,” Brady says. “I mean you’re not spending $25 anymore, you know they are $150 and $200; they can really add up really fast. So don’t do it impulsively.”

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