With the holiday shopping season underway, Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos, a certified public accountant in Brownsville suggest to spend wisely.
"What I advise my clients is come up with a budget of what you want to spend for Christmas and stick to it don't charge anything you can't pay off in 30 to 45 days."
Cascos said many people go beyond their own means for Christmas and make purchases for gifts that will be forgotten in a few months.
Not to dampen the spirit of the holiday, but he suggests to be realistic rather than materialistic. It TMs the only way not to break the bank.
"What people do personally is like what the government does, said Cascos. They tend to overspend what they don't have they end up financing some of the gifts on their credit cards."
Those credit card bills combined with the monthly cost of living and many people are left with pennies for what TMs most esstential: Food.
In fact, there has been a 40 percent increase in people Valley wide looking to the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley.
"What happens with food and security is that maybe a family is good to go with paying the bills at the beginning of the month, said Omar Rodriguez with the Food Bank of the RGV. But at the end of the month they have struggles with that and that is when he food bank is there to help them out"
Rodriguez doesn TMt attribute the increase in families needing help solely due to overspending.
A downed economy, under employment, increase in fuel and food prices are all contributing factors.
If the trend continues, he said the food bank will be suffering along with them.
"We are able to keep up because of the generosity of local organizations but we need a lot more volunteers and most importantly are monetary donations as well," said Rodriguez.
So perhaps instead of spending on extravagant gifts this Christmas, make donations that will go even further or just save all together to make sure there is always food on your table.