Why does credit spending make us feel like we have hit the jackpot? While paying back the loans and interest make us feel like we are aboard the sinking Titanic? Why don’t we just spend what we have earned and just have a good night sleep? Why are we driven to purchase services and products beyond our means, only to regret we ever laid eyes on a loan application? I suppose we can blame it on great advertising, such as the media. We can also turn an accusing nose to the sweet smile of cinnamon encouraging us to spend. We can also convict the comforting music playing in the stores while we are conjuring a financial storm for our household. Yet, we still grab our plastic promises of bliss and sell our financial freedom for a single moment of “Oh, you shouldn’t have!” Well, “You shouldn’t have!” Because most people are tight-fisted when it comes to paying back what they have stuck their hand out for.
Recently, while standing in line waiting to pay for my goods. I watched attentively how people were using two and three credit cards to pay for their merchandise. This was a discount store, mind you. Each item in the store was one dollar. Yet, the borrower, when using a credit card we are borrowers, conveniently avoided spending cash. Somehow we think that we are saving when we use a credit card because we don’t see the cash transaction. Not only are we not saving, but we are spending more because we are collecting interest! We are sticking out our hand to get something in the discount store and we will have to pay it back. How can we keep our hand in our own pocket?
First, we should try spending our own money. Whether it be a one dollar or ten dollars. I remember there was a time when we could not afford something, we did not get it! There was a time when there was no credit cards. Why don’t we just try living within our means? What happened to saving for the holidays? We cannot have champagne ideas and soda pockets. If we have soda pockets then shop where they sell soda. Don’t shop in the champagne store and be tempted to dig a financial storm for your family. Debt hurts everybody in the family. If your family and friends really love you, they will understand that you cannot afford to buy them expensive gifts. Love is kind and does not complain.
Second, do we really need expensive or new ornaments to hang on the tree and around the house? Save some old socks or articles around the house and let the kids decorate them and hang them up. This creates family time and saves money. There are a lot of things around the house to create ornaments with, use your creative skills. I find that homemade gifts are absolutely in fashion, try it. This saying still remains true: “It’s not the cost of a gift, it’s the thought that counts.”
Third, think about all the hard labor you give to your job everyday. Then ask yourself the question, “Is this how I want to spend my hard earned money?” Also, ask yourself the question, “Is this gift practical and useful?” Consider the reason you are buying a gift. Are you buying the gift because you want to be admired? Do you believe you will be loved because of your gift? Will your gift bring much needed help to the receiver, such as food and clothing? Would you rather give a can of beans to a hungry person or a fur coat to an ungrateful person? What ever you decide to give, just think about how you labored to earn what you are giving away.
When we borrow from a creditor, we have all good intentions of paying the loan back, but circumstances arise and then we have to decide who gets paid. Truthfully, some people just don’t like to pay back what they borrow. Either way, We go back on our promise to repay the lender. Whether it be family, friend or credit lender. Now we have caused bad relations because we did not honor our agreement. We lose relationships and we lose trust and we lose credit opportunities. All because we stuck our hand out for something we could not afford. Now we wished we had never borrowed. The hype of the holidays are gone. The cinnamon smell in the store is filled with the reality of debt. The music in the store now plays songs of regret. We now asked the question, “How did I get into this mess?” Wisdom’s answer is, “Don’t stick out your hand to get something if you’re going to be tight-fisted when the time comes to pay it back.”
Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He gave his life that we may have the opportunity to have a person relationship with his Father, God our creator. It is a love offering that Jesus made for all humanity. Christmas is a celebration of God’s love for humanity. There is no charge for God’s love and it is plentiful and everlasting. Use wisdom and she will guide you and your pockets wisely through the holiday season. Be Blessed.
Available January 11, 2016