Good morning and Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day is filled with family and board games along with tons of turkey and stuffing (I love stuffing).
I should be entering receipts into YNAB right now. I usually check our bank account for my wife’s deposits at the same time but when I signed on to online banking I saw this:
They are using the holidays as an excuse to sell you money
Look, I understand if you don’t have enough money to purchase all the Christmas gifts you’d like to. Maybe you will borrow money to buy gifts this year, I’m not here to judge.
We certainly don’t have an unlimited supply of gift money and borrowing would be a quick fix.
I want to buy my wife a $300 bluetooth-enabled car stereo for her 10yr old SUV and $120 J-racks for her kayak, but our goals are a bit more noble.
My wife DEFINITELY deserves those types of gifts, but we decided to be purposeful with our spending.
BTW: Nobody is going hungry and there will be gifts under the tree, so we’re all good.
The real problem with this ad
They are monopolizing on the weekend festivities to market their product to you.
What’s wrong with that? Everyone does it, and I understand that too.
But what does selling loans have to do with Black Friday?
THEY ARE SELLING YOU MONEY!
Hello? McFly! Let’s just call it what it is – they are selling you money.
Do you really need a Home Equity loan for Christmas? If so, I have a suggestion that will work better (keep reading).
Is this deal on an auto loan only available on November 28 and 30th? (Note: They won’t be open on Thanksgiving Day or Sunday, so this is truly a ‘Limited Time Offer”)
If you need to borrow money for gifts, do this
Get ready, I’m about to recommend doing something you would never expect. I am going to show you how to borrow money but STAY within budget.
First, make a list of names
Santa has a list and checks it twice. Even I can make one that includes my friends and family.
I use my phone’s Contacts to find those names I would otherwise have forgotten. Note: There are only a few people to buy gifts for that are not in your phone’s Contacts. Think about it – if you don’t have their phone number then they are merely an acquaintance (except the obligatory White Elephant gift-away or something for your boss).
Second, write down the gifts and estimated costs
This is the hard part. What would Aunt Sally like?
If you can’t think of anything then a gift card will suffice. Yes, we’ve been told that gift cards are gift cards are impersonal but they have become more socially acceptable over the past 5 years. (In fact, that’s all I want these days).
Third, take a cash-advance on your credit card
Yeah, you read that right. I just told you to take a cash advance on a CREDIT CARD! Remember, this is ONLY IF YOU MUST BORROW to buy gifts. If you have the money then ignore this advice.
Take out the exact amount of money you need for all your gifts and put it in an envelope. Keep the list with the envelope and only use the money to buy what is on the list.
The reason? Spending cash will keep you on budget.
Even if you get charged a 3% fee for the cash advance at least you won’t overspend. That’s the magic of cash: When it’s gone, it’s gone. There’s no going over budget. You have restricted your gift-giving to purchase plus 3 percent.
Fourth: Pay back the debt ASAP!
I’m a NOT recommending you borrow money for Christmas, but if you are new to getting out of debt or just need a little more to get by then this is the best way to limit the damage.
Make your first 2015 New Year’s Resolution to pay off the debt your Number 1 Priority!
Make sure this never happens again. As soon as the debt is gone start putting something away every month for next year.
Join a savings club at your local bank. Put $20 or $50 a month away and in ten months you will have $200 – $500 for Christmas 2015.
Eat turkey, don’t be one
One of the worst things you can do to your finances is fall for gimmicky deals and marketing tactics that have nothing to do with your long-term goals.
They are designed by very smart people with lots of dollars in their department to entice you to purchase what they have to sell.
This is all fine-and-good for retail stores, restaurants, and supply chains but what does Black Friday have to do with borrowing money?
I laugh at my bank’s Black Friday Weekend Loan Sale, especially since they will only be open two of the three days this weekend. If you want to buy a car, don’t let a flashy ad make the decision for you.
There will be plenty of deals in the future. Your job is to avoid them at all costs for the good of your family and your future.
Happy Thanksgiving, have fun sitting in lines outside of Walmart tonight, and remember the REAL reason for this season.