A HAPPY, CREDIT-FREE CHRISTMAS
By Frances McGuckin
you going to shop 'til you drop
this Christmas, or are you going
to practice some restraint and keep
control of your credit card spending?.
Why not make a New Year's resolution
in advance and promise to keep the
credit card bills down. Consumer
bankruptcy is on the rise-why risk
becoming a part of those dismal
recent study asked children what
they wanted most from their parents,
and the answer was so simple and
cost free. Time. Time is what your
children want, so why overspend
on material items when spending
quality time with your children
is a present they will never forget?
you go relentlessly shopping and
spending hard-earned dollars, sit
down and make a plan of action.
The first step is to update or start
a household budget and know how
much it costs to maintain a house
and family for a year. Many people
don't have a clue of the monthly
cost of running their household.
you have this information, divide
the amount by twelve months. Now
you have the monthly cost of operating
your household. Look at your income
and see if there is anything left
over each month. This is the amount
you should be spending on gifts.
If you don't have enough and are
going to use credit cards to finance
Christmas, set a spending limit
based on how much you can afford
to pay off the card each month,
based on your budget.
love this is the time of year-and
so do the retail stores. Canadians
live on credit with very few people
using credit cards wisely. The smart
people charge only what they can
afford to pay off within thirty
days. This eliminates the high interest
charges and racks up points at the
same time. The not-so-smart live
for today and pay for it forever,
usually minimum balance payments
with a high interest component.
astute shopper will start a new
budget in January and allocate a
certain amount each month for gift
purchases. By making a monthly allowance,
gifts can be purchased during the
year on sale and put away for birthdays
a practical Christmas list based
on your budget and don't buy if
it's not on the list. Small, thoughtful
gifts say just as much as expensive
presents. Give from the heart and
not from the credit card-you will
enjoy your Christmas without worrying
about the aftershock.
weekly 'Business Concerns' column
is available for Syndication.
Please phone or e-mail inquires
to Articles page