EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The most wonderful time of the year is almost upon us, holiday shopping. However, with inflation hitting an all-time high, families may need to budget more for that expected higher spending.

Budgeting for the holidays is not only necessary for holiday items, but it’s needed for everyday necessities like groceries or monthly payments. FirstLight Federal Credit Union business development officer Maria de Jesus Ortiz-Frausto recommends writing down the income you receive, along with your expenses, to know how much is left in order to spend on items like gifts.

Ortiz-Frausto does point out that every budget is different for every household. It is not just about how much you can save but finding a way to budget that works for you and sticking to that budget.

“What I might think it a bad habit may not be a bad habit for yourself. It just depends on your necessities and your family’s necessities, so it’s just sitting down and like I said looking at your budget — what am I spending on that maybe you shouldn’t be spending.”

One option families may have is to take out a loan to help pay for those extra expenses. Whether a family decides to use a bank or a credit union, Ortiz-Frausto said borrowers need to look at what kind of loan they are getting so they can be smart with their money.

“It might be that you’re getting a great opportunity for a loan but what will the interest rate actually be. So it’s always important to take charge of what they’re giving you.”

One of the most important tips is to make sure that you do have a savings account to use for emergencies. Ortiz-Frausto said even if you are not able to save as much as you’d like, it is important to put at least 10 percent of your paycheck into savings so you can build that up and save for when you need it.

“Always include that savings in the expenses that you have. Don’t leave it until the end. It’s very important to pay yourself first.”

FirstLight Federal Credit Union has several financial literacy workshops you can attend and you can find that information on their website.

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