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Category: Budgeting
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by Airman 1st Class Ariel D. Delgado
47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

11/20/2014-Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas--For most, the holidays are a time of joy, celebration, and family reunions. For others, the season can emphasize stressors, such as family separation, traveling, and last minute workload.

The holidays are also the toughest time of the year when it comes to financial budgeting. The lights, music, decorations and delicious seasonal scents tend to weaken most people into swiping their credit cards.

And what hurts peoples wallets the most... last minute shopping.

But what if you were told that the holiday financial stress can be avoided? What if you were told that Laughlin has the resources to help you get through?

Here, at the Airman and Family Readiness Center, we can help with those having difficulties with their holiday finances, said Anthony Williams 47th Force Support Squadron community readiness consultant. Planning is key.

The AFRC has provided a few tips to help with holiday shopping to avoid any financial troubles.

Start by making a spending plan. Make a list of usual purchases, from gifts to food to entertainment to travel expenses.

Always know your limits. Set a spending cap on gifts and prioritize for whom youd like purchase a gift for.

Make sure to track purchases to avoid overspending. It may help to keep a journal to write down all expenses.

Avoid impulse buying by shopping with a list. Know what youre there for. A good way to ensure you spend what you have is by paying with either cash or debit. Leave the credit cards at home, no one likes paying interest.

There are many stressors that can be brought about by the holidays, said Aliyah Negley, 47th Flying Training Wing Community Support Coordinator. However, Laughlin has multiple resources, such as the mental health clinic, Family Advocacy Program, Military Family Life Consultant, Airman Family Readiness, chapel, in place to support those in need, which in turn builds and cultivates a resilient individual and community.

The AFRC has consultants available for briefings with organizations and groups on base to talk about financial issues by request.

Let the holidays be a time of joy and not of stress, said Williams. Keep in mind that finances are important all year round.

To schedule an appointment with the AFRC, call 298-5620.