Saving ahead of the holiday season, advice and tips

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the M.O.V. shares advice and tips
Two people with WVCCCS were in the studio to talk about saving money for the holidays!
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 8:43 AM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The holiday and shopping season is here. For many, shopping for presents can be hard.

Even harder? Saving the money to buy those presents.

Shelene Shrewsbury and Hailey Martin from Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the M.O.V. shared how you can make saving money easier this holiday season.

While saving for the holidays can be tough, there are things people can start doing now to start saving for those big shopping days, according to Shrewsbury.

First, you want to evaluate how much savings and extra income you have to spend this holiday season. To find your extra income, calculate all the income you will earn over the next few weeks and subtract your household expenses. What’s left, along with any savings, is what you have to spend. Then, come up with a plan, prioritizing who you will be shopping for and how much you have to spend on each person.”

Martin said it’s important to think about saving and planning your spending in advance.

“If you start saving now for next year, 2024′s holiday season will be stress free. It will allow you to focus more of your time on what matters the most…your family and friends,” Martin said.

Shrewbury said the best mindset to have when approaching a big “spending” time like the holidays is remembering who you’re buying for, and focusing on those connections.

“Know that you do not have to spend a lot of money, and you do not have to buy for everyone. Set a limit and stick to it. Think outside the box on ways you can do something for someone without spending a ton of money. Examples could be coupons for free babysitting or cleaning services; making something special instead of buying; encouraging gift exchanges or playing gift giving games with friends. Don’t compare your holiday to others. Make it your own! Focus on making connections and memories with your loved ones.”

When asked if there is a common mistake they tend to see, Martin and Shrewsbury pointed to the use of credit cards.

“Too often consumers fill the gaps in their holiday budget by using credit cards or loans. If you already have a balance on your credit card, that you cannot pay in full, don’t add your holiday spending to it. Once your holiday spending is maxed in your budget, it is time to stop,” Shrewsbury said.

You can find more about CCCS at the website