Here we are, in the midst of the Holidays, stressed out about the gatherings, the food and the presents, not to mention the shopping, the crowds, bad weather and impatient drivers. Did I mention the boss needs ‘it’ done yesterday, or that not only is it the end of the month, but also the end of the quarter and the end of the year? So, the rush is on to complete whatever needs to be accomplished for the benefit of gaining that extra dollar.
- Not everyone is gaining that extra dollar; you are probably earning that extra dollar for someone else. You are probably spending your “extra” cash to give as gifts, charity or donations. Most Americans are generous in spite of the pressures we feel. The financial institutions love this time of year, as we tend to increase our debt instead of living within our means. The Holidays are a celebration of giving, but the short-term joy may create long-term headaches. Be prepared to have unexpected expenses accumulate. For example, while I was having my morning coffee, I looked out the window at the neighbor’s house and watched a few men wrestle a furnace out of their HVAC service van. How much does a new heating system cost? They are not cheap! Depending on the manufacturer, size of the unit, company installing it and an entire host of other factors, the cost will run into the thousands of dollars. Some expenses, such as heat in the winter, take precedence over the latest tablet, smart-phone or super-sized TV.
A word of caution, America, be prepared. Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Even in his day, Mr. Franklin warned of being prepared for the unexpected. However, we as a whole, generally spend more money than we have, causing ourselves needless grief by creating more debt for ourselves. If we learn anything, we must learn to spend less on insignificant gifts. It would be wiser to spend your money on things that people need than to spend that money on things that people want, unless, of course, you have sufficient available funds without incurring more debt.
Next month as the credit card bills start arriving along with the heating, utility, mortgage, health insurance, and car payments, will you be able to look back and justify that blow-up inflatable snow globe? Was the world’s ugliest holiday sweater, worn only once, really worth the money spent on it? Maybe something practical, such as an auto emergency kit, would make more sense. People drive their cars year round, and there is always a chance of a breakdown. Maybe a first aid kit for your employees is a better choice (and less expensive) than that fruit of the month club gift. First aid kits can be beneficial gift for home, work or office. Both of these items are practical, and can be used during an emergency. Preparing others for an unexpected event does not sound like fun, but the worthwhile benefits of having supplies on hand during an emergency is much better than having that remote controlled helicopter flying over grandpa’s napping head.
If you really want a practical gift that will be used throughout the year, for homeowners, co-workers, campers, hunters, preppers, first responders, schools or yourself, spouse or child, visit our website. Have a safe holiday, and thank you for liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.