EARLY YEARS: Bargain hunting and holiday budgeting tips for families

Financial experts say too much holiday spending can lead to big credit card bills come January
Re-gifting gift cards or hosting a family dinner can help save money
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 6:12 AM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - ”This year, money is tight for most of us. Unlike Santa, we can’t afford to buy for every single person out there,” says Mary Jo Terry, a financial expert with Yrefy.

But just like Santa, we should make a list and check it twice.

“The whole point of this is if you have more than five extended family members that you’re wanting to do gifts with, you might want to reach back to your family and see if you can do a name exchange or do some kind of activity instead of a gift,” says Terry.

With everything costing more these days, it’s more important than ever to make a budget.

“This year, it’s really important to take your time and set a limit that you can afford outside of your normal bills,” says Terry.

The reality is, many of us use credit cards to buy Christmas presents.

“So, really pay attention with this rising interest rate market, and take a look at what credit card you’re going to actually use, if you’re going to use a credit card and buy a holiday gift,” says Terry.

Terry adds you should also look at the interest rate on that card, and check for any card benefits.

“Some will give you cash back. Some will give you Amazon points. Some will give you retailer points,” says

And look for websites and cash apps that will give you something back for your purchases.

Also check for gift cards you may have that you haven’t used, and don’t be afraid to re-gift them.

“There’s nothing wrong with re-gifting. The other person has no idea that you received that gift card of any value of any kind. Let’s re-gift it. Let’s find ways to save money and really move it forward,” says Terry.

Move it forward also, when it comes to good money habits.

Terry encourages parents to set a good example for their kids.

“If you’re going shopping with them, and they want to buy a book somewhere, have them go on their phone. They all have phones and make them find that coupon. Start teaching generations below us how to be fiscally responsible,” says Terry.

Also she suggests searching for online coupons for food, as well as other items.