Thursday, November 24, 2005

I'll Start Budgeting .... after the Holidays

We do like to procrastinate, don't we? That diet can wait till tomorrow. The exercise program will begin when it gets warmer outside. Those clothes will be mended later. And, the budget will start after the holidays.

After all, it's the HOLIDAYS! We can't be expected to discipline ourselves during the HOLIDAYS, now can we?

I understand the need to take a break. I think rewarding yourself for a job well-done is a good idea. And, I certainly agree that we must not venture too far outside our comfort zones when it comes to money ...

But ... (you knew that was coming, didn't you)

Discarding discipline during the holidays is the WORST possible time to get lax. The holidays are probably the #1 time when budgets are decimated, overspending is rampant, and money is wasted.

People are running around like chickens with their heads cut off - trying to find things to waste their money on. These spendthrifts are buying (pardon me for saying) stupid things like knick knacks, figurines, stuffed animals, cut flower arrangements, goofy ties, and fruit cakes ... things that are just going to gather dust, be given away next Christmas, or die and be thrown into the trash.

It makes me cringe when I think of all the money that is wasted during the holidays. I think of all the credit card debts that could be paid down, the mortgage payments that could be accelerated, and the savings accounts that could be fattened.

Creating a budget BEFORE and sticking with it THROUGH the holidays is probably the best thing you can do for your finances.

Have a spending plan.

Allot a certain amount of money for gifts and don't go over it.

Don't buy a turkey AND a ham, cakes, AND pies, AND candy, AND nuts, AND rolls for holiday meals (your wallet and your waistline will thank you later).

I know it's hard, but as exercise guru Tony Little used to say, "You can do itttt!"

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