Happy New Year!

Now it’s 2009, and the holiday season has come to an end.  First let me say that I hope all of you had a terrific Christmas and I hope that your New Year is full of resolutions that will make your life easier in 2009.  I myself have many resolutions, and so far I am off to a great start.

It’s also time for people to start coming down from the holiday high and some are likely experiencing something many call buyers remorse.  Usually this happens the day after you make a big purchase.  I think Christmas for most of us would be considered a big purchase, that is unless of course you are on a Total Money Makeover.  We decided to only spend money on the kids in the family this year and my wife was very crafty with everything else.  We did great but the best part is that we had our very first cash Christmas.  No borrowing took place at all.  It feels great.

Many of you do not know what a cash Christmas is and now that January is here you are looking forward to your tax return to pay your bloated minimum payments on your credit cards.  Sadly, some may even be really struggling right now, because they spent way more than they should of.  I have been there before myself.  Imagine with me for a second how different you would feel if you had NO credit cards and spent only cash for Christmas.  Like us, you would be thinking about how your tax return is going to either pay off the next item on your debt snowball, or go towards your savings of 3/6 months.

The Cheetah Is Lurking

I have noticed all of the many commercials advertising ways for people to get cash fast.  In fact, these commercials sometimes play back to back.  We have a place called Cash Pointe here in Charlottesville and I have seen their commercial play at least 8 times in a half hour time frame while I am working out at the gym.  This is certainly no coincidence either.  They know that people spent way too much money over the holidays and they are ready to pounce on you.

In the commercials you see some happy, smiling person acting like they just made the best financial decision of their lifetime by getting one of these rip off loans.  They happily admit that they brought their car title and walked away with loads of cash.  How come I do not know anyone that is that happy about getting one of these loans?  The fact is that most of the people that get these loans are not smiling.  Once the cycle begins there isn’t much at all to be smiling about.

Stay away from these places.  Imagine that we are all gazelles just trying to go on with our life.  In this process there are things that tempt us to put ourselves in danger to get what we want.  Credit card offers, title pawn shops, furniture stores, car dealerships and payday cash loan places just to name a few.  These places are the Cheetah that will EAT YOU FOR DINNER if you are not careful.  Dave Ramsey will tell you to scream “CHEEEEETAAAAH” when you see these offers, and run as fast as you can.  You have to run like the gazelle and get the heck away from these places that will bring you down.  Don’t for one second think that you are smarter than the cheetah.  The only way to get away from the cheetah is to RUUUUUUUN!

Start the year off right with a Total Money Makeover.  Get SMART, get OUT of DEBT!  Don’t let another year go by without a financial plan.

About Brad Chaffee

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