Financial expert Tony Walker talks Christmas spending as holidays draw near

With inflation, student loans coming back up and no more stimulus money, Walker recommends sizing down this holiday season.
Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 6:00 PM EDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Halloween is quickly approaching, but what’s scarier is there’s now less than 90 shopping days until Christmas.

While some may be ready to walk in a winter wonderland, others might be getting anxiety about just how they’ll afford Christmas this year.

“I think the idea of going out buying gifts for everybody and buying these nice presents, I just don’t see it happening now,” said Tony Walker, Owner and President of Tony Walker Financial. “The price of things is just too high and the inflation factors affecting so many people’s wallets in so many different ways.”

With inflation, student loans coming back up and no more stimulus money, Walker recommends sizing down this holiday season.

“I think a lot of people are gonna have to get creative, maybe decide who they’re going to buy for, maybe the family could draw names,” Walker said. “I think the idea of just rushing out buying everybody Christmas gifts, for some people it’s going to be tough this year.”

Though if you’re still looking to spend a bit, Walker recommends trying to trim some of the fat in your budget or deferring savings you may be putting elsewhere.

“If you’re putting quite a bit in a 401k, you could always back off just a little bit now try to take that same amount of money, put that in savings, so you’ll have that deferred for Christmas,” Walker said.

Walker said secondary jobs could also work, adding that many places may be looking for seasonal hires for the holidays.

“Approach a lot of these employers and tell them your intentions that you only plan on working through the holidays,” Walker said. “I think a lot of them, as long as you’re dependable, you’re willing to show up at work, maybe work some different hours during the time between now and the holidays, are going to be open to hiring you.”

Walker advised that it may be better to spend the money on an activity for the whole family rather than smaller, individual gifts.

“I think if you can experience things as a family, and we do have quite a few parents and grandparents who are doing pretty well financially, maybe that’s a way to get the kids together,” Walker said. “Keep the pressure off everybody for maybe your children or grandchildren, maybe not having as much money and experience that family relationship or that outing together.”

Walker also stressed the importance of being honest with your family about finances and explaining what is and isn’t affordable for the holidays this year.