Skeet Shares
stuff I find interesting
Saturday, December 30, 2006
After-Christmas Money Blues?
Did you do it this year? I’m talking about overspending for Christmas. It’s so easy to do, and I think most of us have gotten ourselves in trouble with it at least once in our lives. I know my own parents always went into debt to give us a “good” Christmas. I did it a few times when my son was young, despite my determination to not let that happen.

The holidays, of course, are not the sole source of debt misery. It’s easy to fall into a buy now/pay later mindset, especially if you have a pocketful of credit cards. We all know that the balance due will never be reduced by making minimum monthly payments, but we get caught in the trap and many can’t see a way to get out.

Put away your pessimism and face your problems. Explore some common-sense options for solving your debt problems and you CAN DO IT!

The first step is one you’ve heard before, and it’s really not as painful as most of us anticipate it to be. Get rid of your credit cards. Cut them up. OUCH! Sure it hurts, but the pain is brief. Take it from one who has done it. Keep one card for emergencies if you must, but only use it for true emergencies. Gift-giving and a new outfit for a special night out are not emergencies.

So, how do you buy what you want or need without credit cards? By being a practical spender. Buy your Christmas gifts in small increments throughout the year. Set a budget and don’t exceed it, even when the new toys come out in the fall to tempt you. Skip the expensive theme-park vacation and explore your own locale with your family. Check out museums and cultural attractions you’ve been meaning to explore with the kids, campgrounds where you can enjoy the wonders of nature or historic sites that you’ve been saving for “later.” Make a commitment to cut out luxury items for one full year. Most people get by with only a few restaurant meals and movie theatre visits a year. You can do that, too, because you’re serious about controlling your debt.

Now you’re spending less and saving more, but what are you going to do about paying off debt you’ve already accumulated? The most practical answer for most people is to make personal loans. The payments on the loan will be smaller than what you’re currently paying against accumulated balances, so you’ll have more money to live on as an added bonus to retiring your debt.

Most people who own homes can qualify for mortgages against the equity they’ve built up over their years of making payments. If the interest is lower than the total interest you’re paying on credit cards, and the payments for the secured loans are less than the total monthly balance due on existing debt, it doesn’t make sense to NOT do it.

Keep practicing the good spending habits you’ve learned and the budgeting techniques you’ve established while dealing with your debt crisis. You’ll avoid repeating the pattern and have better overall financial health because you faced your problems and brought a dose of common sense into the picture!

This post is sponsored by Loanwize, who can answer your questions about finding the loan that's right for you.

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2 Comments:
Blogger Dirk_Star said...
Cut... Up... My... Credit... Card?

I feel ill.

Everything is spinning around and around.

Quick, someone get me to a Target before I pass out!

Blogger skeet said...
LOL! I haven't had one in years. You get over missing them. It just takes time.

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