Experts advice putting ‘budgeting’ at the top of your holiday gift list

DELMARVA – “This year I don’t know why, but I’m just not feeling it,” Milford resident Marissa King said.

Inflation and supply chain shortages. Those are two unexpected items on many shoppers’ holiday lists this year. Yet, financial experts say it doesn’t have to be a scary thing as long as you tackle your holiday mission with a plan.

“Cap your spending. Don’t go into Walmart, Best Buy, and all these other places thinking I’ll just pay it off later. So have a plan then keep track of that. Right?,” Gunn Wealth Management’s LaMar T. Gunn said.

“So you know you don’t get to your final dollar and realize I still have two other people to buy gifts for because you know what’s going to happen right? Are you going to stick to that plan and you left out Jo-Jo and Mom-Mom? Probably not.”

Holiday shopping typically leads to overspending or not following a budget, but I’m told getting creative with your gift-giving may help you avoid digging deeper into your pockets.

“Thrift shops, second-hand stores, antique and vintage shops, and things like that for items that may be kind of nostalgic. It could kind of remind you Christmas past,” Main Street Princess Anne Manager Carrie Samis said.

As you’re out making your lists and checking them twice, experts say gift smarter not harder.

“Teach your kids more when it comes to Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, or holiday gifts spending. Tell them that you just don’t want them wearing Nike, but you’re planning so that they can own Nike,” Gunn said. “So instead of just buying sneakers and so forth, you’re buying them stock during the holidays because these are gifts that will keep on giving for a lifetime in form of dividends, appreciation, and so forth.”

With the holiday season looking different than previous years, some shoppers say they’re shifting the focus back to the true meaning of the season.

“Our family is dealing with it like let’s get back to the basics. What is the holiday about? The holidays are about family, it’s about joy, and it’s about creating moments we’ll bring into the next year. So I think that’s what we’re going to focus on,”  Community member Natalie Saint-Phard said.

Experts advise that for those using credit cards, contact your financial institution to reduce your limit to your set budget amount so you can pay it off in 30 days to avoid acquiring interest.

Experts also say keeping your shopping local is another great way to save as you avoid paying for shipping.

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