Why trade war with China may hurt your wallet this holiday season

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas, even in mid-October.

Just ask Todd Walters.

"I'm thinking about how I'm going to spend the least amount of money for Christmas."

So are most other shoppers. Kacy Dietterich says starting now, she and her husband are keeping their eyes on price tags.

"We typically wait to see if prices will go down some, like for big items. I know something I'm getting him for Christmas already, so I'm kinda keeping my eye out on prices on that," she said.

Looming over the holidays is the harsh reality that the trade war with China may make things more expensive.

We're talking about things like cellphones, toys and video game consoles.

Banking expert Karen Bill recommends keeping a few things in mind when looking at products.

"Look at prices vs. quality. So, you want to make sure that you're doing your research, understanding the brand and the quality, and then you want to make sure you're looking for the deals."

A new study by Roanoke College reports 58% of people believe they should buy now.

Related: Holiday Hours: These stores will be closed on Thanksgiving 

Many consumers think prices will only go up, but the uncertainty can be worrisome.

Bill said that's why it's important to have a plan and focus on your budget.

Dietterich agrees.

"Yeah, I'll save money from paychecks before. That way, it's not all last-minute coming out of the bank account."

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