ARIZONA NEWS

Holiday shopping can be fun, but don’t blow the bank on gift purchases

Nov 23, 2018, 4:25 AM | Updated: 3:32 pm
(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)...
(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

PHOENIX — Getting into the holiday spirit is easy for some with visions of family, food and presents; others are blinded by visions of dollar signs sinking down the drain.

Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at BankRate.com, shared some helpful tips with KTAR News 92.3 FM to avoid blowing the bank account this holiday shopping season.

“No matter what one’s perspective is on the holiday season it really doesn’t help any of us if we overspend on holiday purchases,” Hamrick said. “We really need to be mindful of trying to have a holiday gift budget.”

Another pitfall Hamrick compelled shoppers to be wary of was relying on credit cards to make all holiday shopping purchases. It’s not a wonder considering in June, WalletHub.com estimated that the average household in Phoenix has nearly $12,000 in credit card debt.

“Interest rates average a minimum of 17 percent. So if you allow that debt to essentially carry over — you don’t pay down the balance — you are going to be paying interest that is double-digit cost interest,” Hamrick said.

The good news for shoppers is that there is still plenty of time until Christmas to find the right deal.

“This week we really get the run-up to the holiday shopping season, but the reality is the length of the holiday shopping season has been getting longer and longer over the years,” Hamrick said.

“Retailers are eager to get holiday goods into their stores as early as possible and at some level that’s actually beneficial for consumers who can spread out their holiday shopping over many weeks.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report.

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Holiday shopping can be fun, but don’t blow the bank on gift purchases