After the Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie have been reduced to leftovers, football games are over, and the guests have headed home, the holiday shopping season officially begins. Serious shoppers sort through mountains of advertisements to plan for the big day. For many bargain hunters, holiday sales the day after Thanksgiving really get the adrenaline going.While shopping smart is important every month, the stakes are especially high after Thanksgiving. Starting your holiday shopping early helps. But with a little forethought, even procrastinators can benefit from shopping smart. Create a spending planShopping smart means developing a sound spending plan for the holidays. With economic conditions still shaky, now is not the time to pile up a lot of holiday debt. Know how much money you can reasonably afford to spend. To avoid financial problems in 2012, limit your spending to the cash you have set aside for the season.Think creatively. Remember, it is the thought that counts. Homemade gifts, whether food, clothing, or crafts, may be appreciated more than something purchased at the local big box store. Gifts of time for baby-sitting, car-washing or house-cleaning may also be well-received. Your holiday spending plan is not just about the gifts you plan to buy. Remember to include parties, greeting cards, charitable giving, clothes to wear to holiday functions, and other things that make your holiday season joyful. Compare ads and stick to your planAt the store, keep your spending plan and shopping list in hand. Think carefully about each purchase. Avoid deciding on an item in the spur of the moment. Take your time. Think about your needs and the amount of money you have.Use ads appearing in newspapers and mailboxes around Thanksgiving to plan your purchases. Compare offerings from different stores to find the best values. Once you decide on a particular item, compare prices, features, quality and charges for installation, delivery and service. Sometimes the cost to use and maintain an item makes selecting a more expensive model the cheaper option. Save gas and time by shopping onlineTo conserve gasoline, avoid going from store to store. Instead, use the phone and Internet to find information. Particularly for gifts you need to send out of town, it is often much cheaper to order the desired items for direct shipment to the recipient. Shopping online can also be an easy way to locate special or unique gifts. But, be careful. Use a secure browser, shop with companies you know, and keep your passwords creative and private. Pay particular attention to shipping charges, and be sure to print out and keep records of your purchases.Retailers have rolled out holiday items earlier than ever this year. Sales may also start earlier as retailers seek to clear out merchandise. That means plenty of bargains, but you will need to shop carefully to find them. As the holidays approach, many retailers will slash prices so the best deals may be still to come. Waiting for last minute price cuts makes sense for items that are not in short supply. Shop for quality, not low priceExamine factory seconds and irregulars carefully. These items have flaws or imperfections. Find the flaw and decide if it will make a difference. Look in your newspaper classified ads for items, too. Buying person-to-person often saves money.Bargains that sound too good to be true are usually just that. Expect to pay a fair and reasonable price for goods and services. Read labels, seals, tags and instruction booklets. Ask questions. Get the facts before you buy. Find out what is promised, who stands behind the promises and what you must do to benefit from the warranty. Return a purchase that is damaged, did not provide reasonable wear or otherwise live up to the guarantee.Overspending can ruin the holidays and the months that follow. Shopping smart means planning ahead and sticking to your plan. Spending only as much as you can afford will make the holidays better for you and your family–even if they do not receive everything on their wish list.
Equality, National Issues, Non-discrimination, Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs Executive Director Todd Snovel and members of the commission participated in the Rally for Trans Existence and Resistance at Love Park in Philadelphia this afternoon in support of transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals, decrying the abhorrent discriminatory policy proposed by the Trump Administration.“I am Rachel Levine; I am a parent; I am a doctor; I am a professor; I am Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and I am a transgender woman,” Sec. Levine said. “As an American woman, I have a right to equal protection under the law. Our governor believes this. He is the first Governor in the nation to create a Commission on LGBTQ Affairs.“In the Wolf Administration, we believe that no one should be denied health care, a job or housing because they are LGTBQ and Governor Tom Wolf will not jeopardize the health, safety or opportunities of any Pennsylvanian.“I have an important message today for anyone who is trans and struggling to live their truth openly: We are here to support you, to help you and protect you. We will not relent because we cannot put an entire generation at risk by denying them their rights.”The Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, the first of its kind in the nation, offered this statement:“This past weekend, the New York Times reported on a memo from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which seeks to legally define gender as biological and determined at birth. If this proceeds it will have devastating impacts on the lives of our transgender and nonbinary communities nationwide. This policy further invalidates the lived experiences of well over 1 million individuals, across the country, and could restrict access to vital programs such as health care, housing, and other public services.“The Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs and the Wolf Administration are deeply disturbed by this proposed definition. We will continue to monitor this very closely and use our energies to prevent these discriminatory policies from being enacted. We refuse to let the lives of transgender and non-binary Pennsylvanians be erased.“Join us by showing your support. Utilize your social media platforms, contact your government officials, and engage in dialogues with other community members. We must unite and affirm the experiences and rights of our trans communities here in Pennsylvania and throughout our nation.” Wolf Administration Participates in Rally to Support Transgender Pennsylvanians, Decry Discriminatory Federal Policy October 23, 2018 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter