Expert: you can holiday shop on a budget

By Juan Carlos Fanjul - bio | email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL(WFLX)-- The fake white stuff started falling this weekend at Cityplace.

The all-Christmas tunes at radio station Kool 105.5 FM started 4 days early this year because Kool's recession-weary audience demanded it.

And yes, one of the other major rituals of the holidays, shopping, is well underway for Phyllis Becker who was looking to buy 8 Hanukah gifts for each of her grand-children, but on a budget.

"In the individual presents I'm looking for less cost. Still going to get 8, but balance out the value of it," said Becker.

For those of you hoping to please loved ones during the holidays while on a budget, here's some easy advice from Consumer Credit Counseling Service's Jessica Cecere:

First make a budget

"How can you go out for holiday shopping if you have no idea of how much to spend?," asked Cecere.

Make a list.

"Who can you actually buy gifts for with that budget," she added.

Pay with Cash.

"Statistics show people spend 34% less on cash, than with a credit card," said Cecere.

Look for store coupons.

"If they do have them, you are going to save more money and you were going there anyway," she said.

And Shop now to find better deals.

"The earlier you start the better," she said.

That's good advice according to shopper Barbara Gruenstein who says sales are a plenty, a week and half before Black Friday.

"There are sales all over the place now. I figure if I shop earlier, I would get a lot of things that I wouldn't if I wait too long," she said.