The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

“Tis the Season for Financial Restraint”

On December 1st, 2008, posted in: Uncategorized by

As we approach prime time for the holiday season, consider restraint. “‘Tis better to give than to receive” is certainly the slant most people take.

I’m a big fan of giving, as well. Unfortunately, the practice of “giving ‘til it hurts” has made its way from a popular adage found in American lexicon to a literal interpretation of one’s financial well-being. Fiscal irresponsibility tends to be the by-product of our gluttonous approach to the holiday shopping season.

Please give during the holidays…all we’re saying is be careful when you do.

Here at the Credit Union, we have witnessed the January and February hangover all too many times over the years as a result of a member’s year-end spending spree. The New Year’s credit card statements come all too soon, and serve as a reminder that one’s most deadly move is the swipe. It’s so easy to spend money, and so hard to pay it back in a timely manner.

In addition to a mindset focused on restraint, this time of year also demands a plan of action. Set limits. Force yourself to shop with a “to purchase” list that matches off to your spending limits. Eliminate the emotional buy (that tends to forego any major spending blunders), and actively practice rational money management. Consider “trading down” from high-end department stores to discounters. Be a good bargain hunter. Read the paper. Compare prices and use the Internet. All tricks of the trade you can practice to avoid insurmountable debt should be a welcome addition to your holiday cheer.

You may be thinking The P.A. guy is a prude. He must be a lot of fun when it comes to opening presents. He can’t be much joy sitting ‘round the ol’ yuletide log! Nope – not true. I love the holiday season. I love December, and so should you. But I also love January and February. What you do this holiday season in the way of effective budgeting and the personal responsibility to hold yourself accountable helps to take one resolution off of your New Year’s list: catching up on credit card bills.

 

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