Shop smartly and spend safely during Holiday season

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PARKERSBURG W.Va. (WTAP) - Thanksgiving night and Black Friday morning officially kicks off the Holiday Shopping season.

It is important, however, to understand at what point to stop spending.

The average person will spend between $1200 and $1400 on holiday gifts for their family and friends, but not everyone can afford to do that.

The Consumer Credit Counseling Service in the Mid-Ohio Valley has tips on how to shop smartly, and spend safely during the holiday season.

One of the problems shoppers face is emotional shopping. Sometimes that one thing someone "have to get" for someone else is just out of their price range, and therefore piles up credit card bills.

The counseling service suggests to eliminate emotional spending, and focus on finding items you can afford, perhaps at a discount.

"It really should come to what you can afford to do," said Shelene Shrewsbury, Executive Director of C.C.C.S. of the Mid-Ohio Valley. "You've got to take inventory not only of your income and your expenses that comes first, but what do you have as discretionary, what do you have left over, and at this time of year, hopefully you've been saving all year long, and if not, next year, set that goal to do so."

If anyone runs into a problem where credit card bills are out of your budget, a counselor will always be available to walk through possible solutions, and how to save and spend smarter in the future.