Diet (cont.) Page 2



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First: Lower your credit card ceiling

Nothing says control like setting a cap on how much you can charge to that credit card. It’s like wiring your jaws shut before a County Fair. You know the type of event that I’m talking about….where they fry everything from Snickers to Macaroni and Cheese? Call your credit card company and request a lowering of your high balance allowances. It’s kind of like saying that I will only visit the buffet 1 time. Cap your ceiling and know that you are setting boundaries for out-of-control holiday spending. Not sure how to find this information? Look at your last statement for the box that says: “This is how much you trouble you can use“. Kinda. If you never access the $15,000 spending limit generously offered by your credit card company, then why have it? It may also serve as a tool alerting you to pay your card off if you know you are on the high end of usage.

NOTE: If you are attempting to make a high cost purchase in the near future (like a house), there is a possible minor effect on credit scoring. The closer in proximity your credit card balance is to your credit card allowance, the more likely your credit score may be impacted ….slightly. But who cares, you are going to have less credit card debt to pay off this time around and you will pay it off anyway… right?

Second: Make a plan

Oy vey! How many times are we told this? I might as well ask you if you cleaned behind your ears. Wack! The reason that this simple piece of advice is repeated so often is because, it makes sense!

Know this: retailers tell you what you want; only you know what you need. Too often, I see people shopping because they are just trying to find stuff to fill the basket. They have no idea “what or why” they are buying the latest “desk top miniature air hockey game” before entering the store. This year, write down what you will buy or how much you will spend on friends, families, and colleagues. Then, stick to it. You only have future debt to lose.

Lastly

Write a promise to yourself

Say something like, “Dear Self: I will not falsely “payoff” my credit card with my house. Signed, smart home owner”.

Transferring debt to that house note is too easy these days. But I’ll guarantee those that do, if you look under the roof shingles, you will still find last year’s debts. Go ahead, look under the sofa. You won’t find change but last year’s late fees and interest payments. Check under the mattress for the cash advances from last year; because, if you take out an equity loan to pay off your holiday debt, then plan on living with that debt for many more holidays to come with interest. Happy Holidays!

Bottom line: keep that credit card lean and mean!

Remember, if you can’t stand the clutter in your own garage then, why add to someone else’s heap this season.

You’ll be surprised how healthy you will feel!
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