The holiday season is upon us once again, and once again it's about the almighty dollar. Which stores are open on Thanksgiving? Which stores are opening early? Which stores have the best deals? Who is going to drive them self into the poor house buying gifts for everyone they know all in the name of "economic recovery"?

A financial councilor from Lutheran Social Services is saying, if you can't pay cash, don't buy it.

Did you know that if you charge $500 on your credit card this Christmas and only pay the minimum amount due, you'll still be paying for this Christmas four Christmases from now? Ruth Hutchins says instead of whipping out the plastic, pay cash. I know when I pay cash for stuff, I have a tendency to think more about what I'm going to buy because I see the actual cash money leaving my hands instead of mindlessly swiping my card through the reader.

Hutchins adds that instead of buying gifts this year, think about baking your gifts or creating a  family tradition so the focus isn't on the presents.

If you need help keeping your bottom line in line, Lutheran Social Services offers free financial advice all throughout the year. Click here to learn more.