WASHINGTON -- The holiday season is just about here, which means you are about to spend some money! With Black Friday only days away, a financial expert explains the importance of having a budget.
Who doesn't love a good deal? The ads and commercials are tempting, especially during the holiday season.
With Christmas around the corner and Black Friday this week, Financial Expert Xaiver Epps stopped by the studio Sunday to offer advice on budgeting for the holiday season. Epps is CEO of XNE Financial Advising. First, he explained how to start a budget.
Starting your Holiday Budget:
"When you're putting a budget together, you really need to look at the things you're budgeting for," Epps said. " A lot of people go into the holiday season knowing what they want to buy, but not really sure of how much to put toward each item."
He said it is a good idea to make a list and check it twice.
"It's the best way to be strategic about budgeting and making sure you include everything going out like the Secret Santa, the holiday gifts," he said. " Everything needs to be accounted for."
During the holidays people have a lot of time off. Epps said people forget to include activities and other outings in their budget. So, don't forget that.
Saving Throughout the Year:
Consider setting up a savings account for the holiday season.
You can have a certain portion of your paycheck deposited into that account, according to Epps. When the holidays get closer, the bank can disperse it.
How to Make Extra Cash During the Holidays:
Have any gently used items around the house? Sell it.
"A lot of people have things at home that they can sell or donate, but if you sell it you can take those proceeds and buy other items," Epps said. "You kind of break even."
Credit Cards vs. Cash:
Epps said people should be cautious about using credit cards to make holiday purchases.
"If you use it, pay it off before the statement balance is due," he said. "A lot of people get caught in the trap of using some credit and then having a lot of cash leftover and not using that cash to pay off the debt."
"Now they have a new debt that they have to worry about because they wanted to keep people happy."