Even though Christmas may be over, the holiday sales (and belated gifting) are still in full effect. Let LaShawne Holland’s article encourage you in your spending, or should we say, the lack thereof. Happy Holidays!
In this season of giving – and SPENDING – I want to encourage you to give to yourself. In all the hoopla– I want you to BE SELFISH and make intentional decisions about your spending. Not about what electronic device to buy or which color shoe too choose. I hope you’ll make a brave decision to give yourself the gift of a DEBT-FREE HOLIDAY.
If you recall, I told you in a previous article, I grew up in a house where my grandfather paid cash for EVERYTHING. He didn’t believe in paying interest on anything. He built his home debt free, and paid cash for his cars every few years. He used to tell me “Sweetpea, keep your name good and stay out of debt because it makes you a slave to the man.” Well, I don’t know who the man is, but based off of my Bible, I’m guessing it’s the lender.
The National Retail Federation reports that “more than 126 million Americans plan to shop online,” while “one in five plan to use a mobile device to shop.” This “instant” shopping gives us many opportunities to stray from our plans and find ourselves overspending, using credit recklessly, and biting off more than we can chew. This season, TREAT YOURSELF to a debt-free holiday! Decide TODAY that your immediate desires won’t compromise your future success. Don’t let guilt or greed or worse yet, SALES – push you into risking this opportunity to make a shift that will have positive ripple effects in your pocket. It can be hard to know what to do and where to start – especially if you’ve already started indulging in the season. Check the list below twice and you’ll be well on your way to happy holidays!
- CREATE a holiday spending plan AND STICK TO IT. You’ll need to determine your regular bills and calculate any additional income from bonuses and seasonal jobs. Don’t forget to include taxes. Once you know how much you have to spend, decide who and what you will spend that amount on. It’s tempting to spend blindly when the atmosphere is buzzing with deals but remember avoiding debt is your gift to YOURSELF.
- TRACK your spending from NOW until the end of the month. This will give you a REAL-TIME picture of where your money is going and a chance determine if it is being well spent.
- DON’T apply for store credit cards for that “extra 15%” off – most people aren’t disciplined enough to pay off the bill at the end of the month. BE HONEST. If you really will have the money in 30 days – why don’t you have it now?
- DOUGH. Re. Mi. – Ditch credit when shopping – use CASH to buy those gifts and you’ll spend on average 30% less than when buying with credit.
- EXCHANGE Gifts. Instead of buying depreciable items, consider using the money to pay down your debt. If you must purchase gifts – USE A LIST and don’t buy anything that isn’t on it.
COME Together! Share this article with family and friends and build an accountability group. Rewrite your financial future together – remember when it comes to saving money, the more the merrier!