Tips on how to protect your pocketbook after holiday spending

For many of us, our finances just took a hit because of the holidays, and we may be in for another one with the possibility of a recession looming. 

In tonight’s Money Saver Report, Dawn Hasbrouck takes a look at what you can do to help protect your pocketbook.

Consumer finance expert Andrea Woroch says there are a few things you should do.

"The first, and likely the most important, is to rebalance your budget and plug money leaks," said Woroch.

Woroch says you could be wasting money on bills you didn't even know you had, like a subscription service your kids signed up through on your phone or Amazon.   

"The point is, go through each bill. Spend some time going through your credit card, your bank account," said Woroch. "Remember some of these bills aren’t charged on a monthly basis – quarterly? Once a year? So maybe harder to find. Especially for those you don’t use or remember paying for."

By rebalancing your budget, Woroch says you could free up some extra cash. One way to use that cash is to start building up your emergency savings now.

"I think a lot of people rely on credit cards to cover emergencies not realizing how hard it is to dig yourself out," said Woroch. "Especially if prices keep going up, and then you have less money to put towards that debt."


Some experts say it's best to have several months of living expenses in the bank. 

"I find that amount is overwhelming for a lot of people, especially if you are starting from nowhere, so aim for one month of living expenses. That might be an easier goal to achieve," said Woroch.

Once you start putting that money away, think about where you are putting it. 

"If you haven’t changed banks in a while and your savings account is paying low or no interest, as unfortunately a lot do, now is the time to go out and look for higher yields," said Woroch.

Brian Martucci is the finance editor for  He says you can find those higher savings account interest rates at smaller community banks and at online banks. 

He says you can find interest rates around three or four percent and in some cases even higher. 

"That’s going to keep going up. The Fed Reserve isn’t done raising interest rates," said Martucci. "Those rates tend to track pretty closely."

Here's another way to quickly boost your savings. 

"It's kind of like the least sexy thing in finance," said Martucci. "It’s a really short-term CD where you get the money back in a few weeks or at most a couple, few months."

He says the U.S. government is actually paying quite a bit of interest on four-week, eight-week, up to six-month treasuries. 

"You are looking at a similar interest rate, like four percent, which is kind of nutty," said Martucci. "And it's not going to last frankly."

That’s why he says if you are interested in doing this, to do it sooner versus later. 

You can buy short-term treasury bills online at or from a broker.

Our experts also say now is a good time to get a zero-interest credit card and to shop around for a lower rate on a car and home insurance.