CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Black Friday is one week from Friday and it's considered the official start to the holiday shopping season! The last thing you want when Christmas is over is to be broke, so we're taking the advice of a local financial advisor to best get you through the holiday season.
David Conner, who is with Conner Financial in Belmont, says people should be using the entire year to shop for gifts to get the best deal and not just wait until this time of year.
Another tip is to cut down on the number of people you buy gifts for. Once you've settled on a list, the gift of a charitable donation for someone else can also benefit you at the same time.
"When you're making a charitable donation in someone's honor, in someone's memory, you're writing the check and you get to take that as one of your deductions perhaps if that will help you from a tax standpoint," Conner said.
For those of you who put all of your purchases on a credit card and say, 'I'll just pay it at the end of the month,' Conner advises that's only an option if you're disciplined.
"If you're the type of person who is diligent enough to pay the credit card bill off when it comes in January then yeah that's certainly fine," he said. "You can get your airline points, etc. and that's one way to do it, but unfortunately most people aren't that way. They're going to be paying for it into the following Christmas."
Finally, this last tip is for those cyber shoppers! Online shopping revenue will be in the billions this year. Conner says you should limit the amount of time you devote to being online because it's easy to get carried away. "Amazon.com is very easy to sit around in your pajamas and click, click, click your way to a substantial credit card bill come January," Conner said. "Be careful how much time per day you allow yourself to spend on Amazon even shopping in the first place. Because everything looks glitzy during the holidays."