Shop-and-spend season has arrived

Based on most prognostications, the annual holiday-season spending splurge that begins today will be a dismal one — unless you are a shopper looking for bargains.

Some national experts are predicting the first drop in holiday-season sales compared to the previous year since they began keeping records of such things. Consumers, they say, are in a cautious mood because of the turmoil in the economy and the prospect of more layoffs next year.

That’s certainly understandable.

Consequently, many retailers are offering great deals on numerous items, some as much as 75 percent off from regular prices.

All of which means that consumers with disposable funds available have the opportunity to purchase some wonderful bargains beginning today, even if they aren’t waiting outside department-store doors at 5 a.m.

Such shopping and spending are definitely important to our struggling economy, and to some individual retailers especially.

But no one should use those facts as an excuse to buy far more than he or she can afford. The fate of the economy doesn’t depend on you maxing out your credit cards.

So head to the stores today and in the coming weeks. But shop and spend responsibly.


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