Local financial expert: Planning an effective holiday budget

How to plan an effective holiday shopping budget

Our financial expert David Hicks has some tips for how to budget effectively without burning a hole in your pocket during the holiday season.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Black Friday is a week away and, if that is where you kick off your holiday shopping, we have some advice from our local financial expert.

David Hicks, of Oakmont Advisory Group, talked about the holiday shopping trends. He says retail sales are expected to grow 3.5-4.5% this holiday season.

That is big considering there was over $950 billion in consumer spending last season.

Credit card spending is also at an all-time high and people usually rack up a $700 bill on average.

How do you prevent debt from mounting? Here are some tips:

  • Set limits
  • Track expenses
  • Establish goals
  • Plan ahead

Hicks also says to limit your credit card usage. That holiday hangover can last beyond the season and you can spend more paying off your bills than actually spending on gifts.

Be sure to also exceed minimum payments, if you can, and use spending alerts.

Some advice Hicks has, should you need to pay off credit card debt:

  • Focus on high-interest cards
  • Consolidate your debt
  • Automate payments
  • Utilize extra income to pay off your bills
  • Make a repayment program

David Hicks fleshes out that information and more in the video above.