How to Avoid the Post-Holiday Financial Blues
By Joan Peterkin
Are you financially prepared for the Holiday
Will you be making your purchases with cash or
Do you have a planned amount of money you will be
spending on gifts?
If you owe $5,000 of more on your credit card or
know someone who does, who only pays the minimum
payment each month, you are not alone. The levels
of consumer debt are increasing rapidly around the
A Debt is Not Just for Christmas
Christmas is the time of year when many consumers
fall into the trap of spending too much money on
expensive Christmas gifts. Most of these purchases
are made on credit cards rather than using cash.
This means these consumers often end up with large
credit card debt in the New Year. The New Year is
also the time when bills for other expenses, such
as holidays, school fees and taxes come due.
Credit cards are an expensive convenient source of
money and many people don't realize just how
expensive they can be. Remember gifts purchased
on your credit card that you will not be paying in
full, will become a debt. This debt will be with
you long after Christmas is gone. The most
damaging part of this process is the interest you
pay on your holiday purchases over time will be
more than the cost of the gift. This interest
payment you are making will also become someone
else's investment return.
Tips to Avoid the Post-Holiday Credit Card Blues
1. Make a budget for Christmas spending - add 20%
to the amount and stick to that number.
2. Write a list of everyone you plan to buy
presents for and the amount of money you can
afford to spend on each person's gift.
3. Pay for presents using cash or lay-away rather
than credit cards - if you have to use credit
cards use only one.
4. Use a card with the lowest interest rate and
credit only what you are able to pay off in one
payment or within three months.
5. Give yourself time to shop - avoid last minute
impulse buying of whatever you can get your hands
6. Write down everything you buy for the seasons,
food, decorations, cards etc, and their cost -
keep a running total.
7. Consider opening a Christmas Savings Account,
so that you will be better prepared next year -
for $10 per week, you will be over $500 ahead of
the game next Christmas.
8. Gather all of your bills and obligations in one
place and write down what you owe, to whom and at
what interest rate - Now! Be complete and honest
Get a Jump Start on Holiday Planning for Next Year
- Invest in Yourself!
Make a present to yourself this Holiday Season by
investing in yourself - eliminate your debts and
start your wealth creation plan.
1. Take any "downtime" during the holidays to make
a list of your financial goals for the next year,
two years after that, then five years and longer.
2. Add up household expense budget for this year
and add 5% to that amount. Start a monthly program
to set aside 10% of the amount for the next 10
months starting in February of 2005.
3. Read a self-improvement book such as "The
Automatic Millionaire" by David Bach.
4. For some people depression comes with the
holidays - tame the depression with the knowledge
that you can make 2006 a more fulfilling and
enjoyable year financially.
5. Take time to assess how financially secured you
are - review your insurance needs, emergency fund,
wills and overall debt and wealth balance.
Remember your Real Worth is not only measured by
the material gifts you give.This Holy Season is a
profound and powerful timeto commit yourself to
new beginnings, to startnew practices and to
choose what you want yourfinancial life to be in
the coming year.
Very few people choose financial clarity as one of
their new practices. Plan for your expression of
love not only through gift giving to others, but
also a gift to yourself for a secured Financial
Future. Make a painless New Year's resolution that
will give you the "Holiday Feeling Financially"
for many years.
Copyright 2005 Joan Peterkin. All rights
About The Author
Joan Peterkin helps families transition from debt to financial security. Get her FREE report "The Top 7 Reasons to Live a Debt-free Life" - mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info, visit http://www.WealthInitiators.net or call 1-866-410-6099.
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