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      Most wonderful time of year makes for empty pockets

      The holiday season often puts strain on people's wallets, but there are ways to handle holiday shopping and end-of-year finances.

      "If you'll start now and start just an automatic savings plan or something, whether it's $50 a month or $20 a month or whatever, by the time you get to this time of the year next year, you'll have some money to spend," Wood Financial Managing Partner Josh Wood said. "And maybe you can take advantage of those great deals on Black Friday."

      Wood also recommended people meet with their tax advisors to assess their current financial situation.

      "There are charitable donations that might be a good idea to make prior to Dec. 31," Wood added. "And there are even some extra things you might want to spend money on in your business to get an advantage for before the end of the year."

      As for this year, Wood pointed out cash is a good payment method.

      "One- it's kind of a pain to use cash and it actually saves money because it's harder to use. And two- it's a little bit easier to keep track of sometimes. Sometimes, you find yourself just swiping a credit card at random."

      And when picking out that perfect gift for your friends and family, a list might come in handy.

      "If you'll create a list before you go to a store and have a list ready and stick to that list of the gifts you're wanting to get," Wood said, "it'll save you from some of that overspending and some of that buying that's going to end up in a garage sale next year."