Paycheck Chronicles

One Thoughts Before You Go Shopping This Weekend

Two days until Black Friday, and some sales have already started. It’s exciting to see all these amazing prices on stuff! Before you get too enthusiastic about those bargains, though, I want you to think about a single question:

How much of your credit card balance is from Christmas shopping last year?

Now, there are a million ways to rationalize this question…”but I paid off the Christmas stuff, that balance is from my new tires,” or, “but who would have known that I was going to need that dental work,” or whatever jumps into your mind. I’m not judging; I’ve been there. But realistically, how much money did you charge last Christmas, and what is the current balance on your credit cards?

If the answer is anything other than zero, think about that for a minute.

Is that what you anticipated when you charged things last Christmas?

It’s really common to think that you’ll just charge stuff now, because it’s easier than paying cash. Then, when then, when the bill comes, sometimes cash is tight, so you think you’ll just pay a little bit. And then something happens the next month, and the next thing you know it’s a year later and you still have a balance on that credit card. And whether it is the exact same money, or you’ve turned the balance over a few times, it’s still debt that can be attributed to Christmas shopping. And if you’re still paying for last year’s Christmas shopping this year, then there might be a wee little problem.

Christmases are merrier if you’re not worried about how you’ll pay the bills next month, or if you’re not paying the bills from last year. If you’re carrying a credit card balance, use your creativity to figure out how to get through this season without adding to it. You’ll be happier next Christmas – I can (almost) promise.

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