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As we approach the holiday season, it’s important not to get caught up in the “Spend” Cycle.
“Tis the season to be jolly” and dig deep debt holes that will take years to climb out of. According to The National Retail Federation (NRF) sales in November and December (excluding auto, gas, and restaurant sales) are expected to rise 3.7 percent to $630.5 billion. The question is, where are those dollars generated from – disposable income or financed purchases through credit card providers?
It is difficult for one to resist the temptation to shower those we love with gifts on borrowed funds. Especially when we are inundated with direct and subliminal messages to do so. There is nothing wrong with expressing gratitude, love, and appreciation through gifts, but we need to ask ourselves at what expense are we willing to do so?
Retail therapy comes at a cost that unfortunately many cannot afford. Various statistics report that American consumers owe over 9 billion in credit card debt. How much of that debt does your family own? Understanding how money works and the effects of debt on your future can help decrease your contribution to retail indebtedness.
The message here is not to deprive your love ones of gifts and certainly not to live life as a miser. The message is to have a plan for spending on all occasions and to spend according to what your budget allows. Avoid retail purchases on credit as you will typically incur extremely high interest rates. Take the time to explore ways to extend your love, gratitude and appreciation to others without compromising your budget.
About the Author: LaShonda Johnson is a licensed certified financial educator. She is a native Houstonian with 2 children and 3 grandchildren. Her background includes 16 years in Corporate America in management, sales, training and development, and 10 years as an independent capital medical equipment distributor. LaShonda’s passion is to provide financial education to as many individuals and families as humanly possible. Her goal is to empower people with the financial knowledge necessary to help them proactively plan for their futures. You can email LaShonda at: firstname.lastname@example.org, and be sure to visit her website at: Houston Housewives of Finance.
The SPEND Cycle