Christmas on Cash

Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Don't fall prey to Consumerism this Christmas.  Even though we should do our part to help the economy, if you are paying for gifts with credit cards that you'll later "pay back," STOP! 
I've said it before.  My spending on credit adventure began during my first week of college.  A Master Card representative politely asked me to sign up and even gave me a free gift outside the bookstore.  Now, in my 30s,  I'm working hard to be debt-free from actions in my 20s.

Here's how I control my spending:

1.  I stay out of the mall.   If I need something specific, I go in, buy the one thing and leave.
2.  Remember that as long as I have credit card debt, I do not have extra money to burn.
3.  Feel excited about paying off my last credit card.  Imagine sending in the last payment.
4.  Try not to look at certain magazines that show all designer duds so I don't long for the items.
5.  Think about what it will feel like to start the savings account for my vacation home.
6.  Educate myself on what drives Consumerism and learn how to be happy with less.

I'm not able to give flashy, spendy gifts to friends and family this year but because I know how to budget, everything I do purchase is with money I already have.  That feels good.


Nan said...

Good girl ..this is the way to go. When I retired 4 years ago,I paid up and then cut up my credit card.I have a debit card now and only spend what I have in bank. The best feeling in the world is to be debt free.

Anonymous said...

That's great Denae, I know you can do it! I remember clothes were my downfall, I often used my credit card to buy a new outfit for a quick boost to my self confidence. Yikes! Here's a mantra I repeated to myself when I was trying to climb out of debt and felt tempted to spend: "Nothing I can buy will make me as happy as being debt free." I also recommend "Smart Women Finish Rich" by David Bach. He explains complicated financial stuff in a way that's easy to understand and outlines different ways to save for retirement.


Denae said...

Yay - my 2 debt free friends/family! You guys are my heros. Thanks also for reading my blog and posting comments. Love you.

Mel - I'm putting your book suggestion on my list at the library. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Credit cards are the devil. They prey on the young. I definitely don't carry only cash, but I only use a debit card. If you can't pay for it in real time, don't buy it.

I was lucky...always in school so I didn't fill out my first credit card application until I was 26. I still only use it for emergencies.

Not debt free - have school loans. But those don't count, right?



Ted Stryk said...

During my first two years in college, I desperately wanted a credit card, but for some reason my applications always got rejected. When I finally got one, it had a limit of $250, which kept me on a tight chain. Other than a credit card that we pay in full every month, the only thing we have ever borrowed money on is our home mortgage. MK has always been super responsible. I was forced to be responsible against my will (still not sure why) by my inability to get a real credit card in college, so when I finally did, I had aleady seen friends get into credit card trouble. I will say that while at Carson-Newman, I signed Seemore Butts and Moe Lester up for lots of cards to get free gifts after giving up on getting a card myself.

Tina L. Hook said...

I am going to second the "Smart Women Finish Rich" book. (The world may not know this but I used to be a Financial Adviser in my previous life - before I began my adventures as a Writer and Domestic Diva.)

The magic of Xmas has nothing to do with money. Just think back to when you were a kid. I remember the cookies the neighbors used to bring over more than any legos.

Chris F. said...

I send out a few cards, but that is pretty much the extent of my Christmas shopping. As a Christian, I am not all that about celebrating a holiday that was essentially copied from the pagans.