Guest Editorial: "Holiday Common Sense"

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Delivered by: Gregory Griffin Sr./Chief Counsel-Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles

I do not know about you, but it seems like the Christmas shopping season starts earlier each year. The glitz can overwhelm us. In many instances, this season determines if a business will realize a profitable year. This will be a more challenging year for area businesses since there are only thirteen weeks in the 2013 fiscal calendar year compared to fourteen weeks last year. I am hopeful that area businesses will realize a profitable year even with a fiscal year with one less week.

However, I am a strong advocate for responsible consumer spending. Too often, those whom least can afford it spend too much during the Christmas shopping season.  I am not the Grinch trying to steal Christmas, but I want to share some sound advice for holiday shoppers. Before you purchase your holiday gifts be sure to set aside money to pay for your essentials, such as mortgage payments, rent payments, light bills, gas bills and grocery bills.

Have a plan, use cash, avoid retail credit card offers and avoid impulse spending. Too often, we are caught up in the season and spend too much money, which leads to a very bad beginning of the year. Use common sense and spend wisely!

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