The year is winding down fast, and for a lot of us that means last minute shopping! It’s incredibly stressful wandering around the store thinking about which item to get a friend or loved one – or all the wonderful people in your life that are doing all the behind the scenes work. I’m talking about those special people involved with your child(or children’s life) or if you don’t have kids, all those special extra people in your life. Favorite bus driver? Instructor? Neighbor? Church member? The gift you choose doesn’t have to be expensive either. Let’s face it, most budgets are barely covering Christmas presents this year. What are some great alternatives to charging up yet another credit card so we won’t offend someone?
I was at the dentist not too long ago chatting with the hygienist like I normally do. [It’s always good to be friendly with everyone you meet, plus your interaction with them will show you what kind of business they are as a whole. If a receptionist / front desk person is rude it is very unlikely that I will patron that business again. That always tells me that the owner either doesn’t really care about their customers because they hired someone so rude on their front lines, or the owner doesn’t make sound business decisions and you can expect poor work when you interact with him or her when the time comes.] The topic of the upcoming holidays came up, which is expected since we are weeks away from Halloween, and then the anticipation of Thanksgiving and Christmas follows shortly after. She made a comment about how expensive it gets this time of year. I mentioned about how I put money aside to I won’t go further into debt starting in August and September. She was amazed that I was so diligent about not over spending or relying on credit cards, how it is something she could never do. I told her that it was a lot easier than she realized and even putting away a little each week adds up a lot faster than she realized.
We have all experienced a home party of some company our friend’s sister’s cousin had over her house. The food probably wasn’t good either. Whether that party was about cookware, shakes, wraps, makeup, sex toys, make up, creams – whatever – They mostly fall under a multi level marketing system. Some direct sales business that promised an opportunity to work from home and spend more time with their family. We often wonder if these opportunities really do generate enough cash for us to quit our stressful full time jobs? Or are they just another scam? I have sat through so many parties wondering the same questions. Can you really be successful in a multi level marketing company?
It’s that time of year again when most fret they haven’t finished their summer reading lists, and start demanding a new Fall wardrobe even though they may not need one. The Back-to-School mantras and sales aren’t only for students and parents anymore – it really is for everyone. Have you been putting off buying new items because things seem to be more expensive through the summer? It’s not your imagination, it’s a reality. A lot of companies do not offer a reasonable discount on most products after all the Mother’s Day promotions back in May. Father’s Day and graduations do not really offer a financial break either. So, when can we really maximize our need for new items without going broke? The Back-to-School time frame. I’m not sure not everyone needs new pens, pencils, or loose leaf paper, but home goods, electronics, and even car dealerships are willing to give you a better deal this time of year. They want to unload all the older items before they get plenty of new stock in time for holiday shoppers. It doesn’t matter which store is your favorite either. They all will start putting the back stock out on the floor just to get it sold. That’s why it’s hard to maneuver in the store until you realize the extra product on the floor.
I know this time of year we are busy wrapping up the school year, trying our best to get our lawns in shape, and working hard to clean out all the old junk in our homes. We are used to giving away old clothes, and out dated electronics in some cases too for all new upgrades. What about in our pantry? American’s over-consume a lot of things, but our waste of food seems to be the worst. I invite you to look through your pantry especially and donate anything that has not yet expired that you know you or your family will not consume before its expiration date. There are many food banks that desperately need items to help in your community. There are many families that can not afford to put not only a health meal on the table, but enough that everyone gets enough to eat. Many children go to bed starving, even in some middle class neighborhoods.
This week Money Monday is dedicated to a short (well, a little over 4 minutes long) video from Suze Orman. If you are not familiar with her, I suggest you check her out. She gives fantastic financial advice that covers a very wide range of topics that apply to your life at some point in your journey.