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The Holiday Shopping Season – Good Time to Remember Financial Basics

December 6, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS - With the holiday shopping season underway, financial planners say now is a good time for working families to think about household budget basics. Kelli Hinkle, interim executive director of the Alliance for Sustainable Families, says people can save themselves a lot of stress by planning their holiday spending.

"Establish a budget and stick 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. One good rule is to avoid using credit cards that you can't pay off when the bill comes.

"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 that you can 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 till 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."

Counselors say financial stress can tear a family apart, especially during tough economic times.

Leigh DeNoon, Public News Service - IN