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Money Talks | Expenses for the holidays are coming, here's how to prepare

It could be even more expensive this year due to inflation and the slowing economy.

TEXAS, USA — Have you thought about the holidays? Have you set a budget? Will you be charging or going into debt? 

It's already September so it's certainly something to think about.

So, when should you start thinking about how to pay for your gift giving and how should you come up with a plan? 

Certified Financial Advisor Rolandus Johnson told 6 News, "We start immediately after Christmas, so we start, and we look at what do we want to do next year."

Johnson says if you know your big deal is traveling family vacays, start at the end of the year. Right after Christmas, more specifically, and set up a plan for what the family will be doing next year, get that cost and that's what you will put down and pay that year.

So, if you aren't that committed, we asked Johnson to tell us about his advice for the average family.

“I'd say six months you know I think that would be a good start because you know if you have older kids that Christmas bill gets a little more expensive. Younger kids not so much but after six months, I think it's a safe time to start saving," he said.

You could even use the envelope method and just put a little cash away each payday. And Johnson, believe it or not, says it's ok to charge, as long as you meet his criteria. 

"I don't know if this is the right thing to say but if you have the money to charge it by all means charge it. Because it does a couple of things for you. Not only for points and rewards and for all those things for you but also know if you are in a high-income earning job or along those lines you can pay it off fairly quickly," he said.

Really, the key is to write down a budget, and then stick to it!

“If you're not a high-income earner and you charge like $4,000 to $5,000 and that interest of like 25% weighs on you depending on the card," he said.

And maybe it's because of inflation, but Americans plan to spend $997 on holiday purchases for themselves and their families this year. That's down $50 from last year's $1,048.

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