While this time of year can be the biggest blessing for many, it can also be the largest source of aggravation for others. Many people still celebrate the traditional holiday of Christmas, but not everyone has the resources nor the availability needed to celebrate it they way we would like. Truth be told, a lot of couples will actually “break up” this holiday season just over the expectations associated with this time of year. When you love someone you always want to do the best you can for him or her, but you may not always have the necessary resources needed to make it happen. Just about everyone has bills that “won’t” wait until later before the collectors start calling and it is important to make sure you don’t put yourself into a financial hole heading into the new year. I am not a financial expert, but I “can” think of some small ideas that “might” help when buying gifts while “maintaining your financial stability.” First thing (and probably the most obvious) is to make sure you pay ALL your bills for this month “first” before buying “anything.” If you are going to run out of money, it is best to do so with all your “necessary items paid up.” It might also be advisable to make a list of the people you want to buy gifts for and then “budget or allocate” the amount of money you wish to spend on each. That way you know you are at least “paying attention” to your financial situation. The third thing I would suggest is to “do your homework” when it comes to finding deals. I can guarantee you that if someone is selling a nice item for a particular price then you can rest assured that someone else out there is selling it for “less.” An “informed” shopper is a “smart” shopper. If you manage to save $5, then that means you actually “made” $5. Next, do NOT wait until the last minute to pick up the things your want. When stores “run out” of items then that is when you will find that you will have “no other choice” but to buy something more expensive just because it is now “available.” It also couldn’t hurt to “ask” your designated recipient what he or she might want as a gift. Often when people receive surprise gifts, they feel let down because what they “expected” didn’t necessarily match what they “got.” There is “no harm” in asking “up front.” Also, if you have credit cards please keep in mind that they don’t allow you to buy items “for free…” No, whatever you buy “still” has to be paid for, and when you pay the minimum due on each card you could be in for a “long” period of payments. When it comes to any bills I have “except for my internet bill) I always pay more because you never know when you might need to take advantage of a lessor payment one month. If you can afford to pay extra, then do it. Also, it is important to note the “time structure” of when payments are due for your credit cards. Most people are paid on a weekly or bi weekly basis. Most bills are due on a monthly period. ALWAYS budget your payments in accordance to the “time” YOU get paid. When doing so you will find life to be a lot less irritating. Finally, please remember that the most “important thing” you should want to get out of this holiday season is “happiness.” Please remember that “happiness doesn’t always have to depend on money.” If you are going to be cheap, then at least be thoughtful when doing so. Use your imagination more instead of your wallet and you just might obtain a greater sense of satisfaction this year. I would hate to see or hear of people stressing out unnecessarily… Hopefully today’s Daily Thought will help. Thank you for checking me out today, and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer. Please make it a great one.
Melba Moore with Brett Jolly in concert