Local expert on saving money this holiday season

Local expert on saving money this holiday season
Published: Nov. 21, 2023 at 7:38 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2023 at 8:45 AM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The gift-giving season is around the corner and as many are getting their wallets ready for a spending splurge, a local Eastern Carolina expert says there are ways to save.

According to the 2023 Deloitte Holiday Retail Survey, consumers are expected to spend an average of $1,652 on holiday-related purchases, up 14% from last year, and inflation can be held responsible for the uptick in prices shoppers see.

East Carolina University Finance Professor Connor Kasten says the high rates of inflation are caused by post-COVID supply chain issues, the war in Ukraine, tight labor markets, and excessive government and consumer spending. He says there are a few steps you can take to avoid breaking the bank in the midst of inflation.

  • One: Set limits. The holidays can be financially stressful and being mindful of another’s budget underscores the spirit of giving, which is thinking of others.
  • Two: Get creative. For those who love DIY, this holiday season may be the time to put your art skills to the test. Consider a hand-made and thoughtful approach to gifts that your loved ones will cherish for years to come rather than spending money at a store.
  • Three: Buy the necessities. Though they’re not a flashy gift to many, consider getting your loved ones items they need and could use during this time of high inflation. These could be gift cards to a grocery store or an auto shop to get everyday maintenance done on a car.
  • Four: Utilize normal spending
  • Five: Shop early as early Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are happening.

In addition, Kasten says to incorporate new holiday traditions such as fun budget gifting games to cut back spending for everyone’s wallet by establishing a price point and sticking to it.

“The news is crazy, your jobs are crazy, but it’s important for everyone to kind of get grounded and it’s a good reset before the beginning of the year to reanalyze what’s important and I know that’s what it is for me,” said Kasten. “It’s a time to celebrate the things I believe in with the people that are most important to me.”