Dealing with inflation, struggling with gift ideas this holiday

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(ABC 6 News) – This holiday, you might be thinking about what to get your friends and family. Some people are easier to shop for than others. Financial experts said there is one thing people should stay away from – gift cards.

“They’re a pain in the neck for the receiver. Because you got to keep track of all these things,” said Gregg Murset, the co-founder and CEO of BusyKid. An app teaching kids how to budget using their own Visa debit card.

How many times do you go somewhere and realize you left your gift card at home? That’s the hassle Murset is talking about.

“This is what happens when you lose gift cards. You kind of lose them. You kind of lose track of them. The next thing you know, you don’t even use the money on them.”

Instead of putting the money onto a gift card, give the person the money directly whether that’s in cash, or through an app like BusyKid.

“Next time they’re at the store, they can say, ‘boom, that’s what I want to buy’ and they can go and buy it.”

What to buy this holiday might not be the only thing on your mind. A study by Michigan State University found more than 90% of shoppers say price will impact their decisions this holiday season.

“I think it’s gotten really high because we’ve had a lot of growth and whenever people have loads of money in their pocket, they’re willing to spend,” said Cedric Nash, president, and CEO of Oakland Consulting.

“And when they’re willing to spend, that sends a message to people who have products to sell that people are willing to pay an inflated amount for those products.”

If you are stretching your bills to try and get that video game, Nash said it’s not worth it, and kids will understand.

“If they’re dealing with job loss and the unfortunate situation that the economy is presenting, they just need to explain it to their kids. Because the reality is their kids are going to be adults one day and I just think explaining to them that they might be going through hard times, Christmas might not be as lavish as it has in the past – Kids understand that. They see and listen to what’s going on in the household.”

Nash said one way to give back even if you are struggling financially is to donate toys your kid doesn’t play with anymore.

If you truly believe a gift card is the best choice, Nash and Murset said to get a generic gift card like a Visa one. That way, there is flexibility to spend it where the receiver wants to.