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The Holiday Shopping Season is a Good Time To Remember Financial Basics

November 21, 2011

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - As the holiday season begins, financial planners say now is a good time for working families to think about some household budget basics.

People can save themselves a lot of stress by sticking to good rules about spending, says Kelli Hinkle, director of the West Virginia Alliance For Sustainable Families. Although she admits it can be hard for families to manage their money during this time of year, she stresses that it's important.

"Establishing a budget and sticking to that budget. Know in advance what your limitations are for spending for the holidays, and stick to it."

Hinkle says putting things on plastic can be tempting, but she advises caution.

"Avoiding credit card debt that can't be paid off. If it's not paid off, you end up paying tons of fees, and then if you can't pay them on time, paying fees on top of that, and that's money you could be saving."

She says the basic financial lessons of the holiday shopping season are really the same as the rest of the year.

"Do that all year round. Don't wait 'til the holidays to do the budget. Do your budget in January and then have that all laid out by the time the holidays come around."

Financial stress can tear a family apart, counselors say. That's especially important during slow economic times.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WV