With the holidays approaching, you may find friends, neighbors or coworkers asking you to donate to their charitable causes. In an ideal world you’d always be able to contribute – but since our world is hardly ideal, is it ever acceptable to decline?

In our first installment of “Financial Etiquette with Randy Cohen,” the author, humorist and original The New York Times “Ethicist” talks about how to handle this awkward conversation. Check out our first video for Randy’s advice.

Be sure to keep an eye on Straight Talk, or visit us on Facebook or YouTube, for more financial etiquette tips from Randy Cohen in the coming weeks.

Do you always give money to your friends’ charities? If not, how do you decline?