Avoid the debt trap this Christmas season!
It is so easy to overspend during the festive season. I want to encourage you to avoid taking on more debt. Think twice before you spend!
So, let us consider a few practical steps to help you AVOID THE DEBT TRAP this Christmas season…
Don’t try to “keep up with the Joneses”
You may feel PEER PRESSURED to have what your friends have.
“I have to have it too!”
“If I get that new… (fill in the blanks), I will be happy!”
Don’t fall for the lie!
The truth is that often when you end up buying that “latest thing”, it is outdated by the start of the next month anyway! Even that brand new car does not feel that new by the time you need to make the first repayment!
Exodus 20:17 tells us, “You must not covet your neighbor’s house”
Do you realize how crazy it is to try and keep up with the Joneses?
Many buy things they don’t need, with money they don’t have, just to impress people that they don’t even like! Trying to keep up with the Joneses will leave you debt-ridden and empty.
Before you buy that “thing” on credit, that creates debt, first ask yourself – Is it worth it? Do I want or need that item?
Rather save up for it!
You see that advert for that new awesome gadget. You just cannot wait! So, you convince yourself that you HAVE TO HAVE IT NOW! Not next year, but NOW!
You buy that item on credit and, wow, it looks good and it feels so good NOW! But a few days go by and the newness wears off, and all you have is a nice debt and a monthly repayment schedule that messes up your finances.
Can I let you in on a little secret? You are allowed to save up for things!
The advert on TV tells you that you can buy that car at a great deal, and that you only need to make the first payment in 3 months. Many think they have got the deal of the century, only to have to face the harsh reality of repaying the debt instalment over the next 5 years! And then after 5 years you have another debt. They call it a residual payment. WHAT A DEAL!
Many buy now and choose to pay it off later. This makes you feel good NOW, but not so good over the next year, because the extra debt repayment leads to stress on your cash flow.
A little short term “feel good” GAIN often leads to a lot of long-term PAIN!
Luke 14: 28-30 Jesus said, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”
Don’t just buy things in the spur of the moment. Count the cost!
Ask yourself: Do I really need it? Can it wait? Can I afford it? How long will it take me to save up for this?
I promise that you will appreciate that item more and you won’t face unnecessary debt stress if you carefully consider spending first and making wise decisions instead of the spur of the moment decision that can leave you bankrupt. You don’t have to live in debt.
Like the old Queen song: “I WANT IT ALL, I WANT IT ALL, I WANT IT ALL, & I WANT IT NOW!
I want to warn you: Don’t fall for the “feel good now” lie.
In the old days people used a “lay-buy” system. You saved up first. Why not try this approach? It will save you a lot of heartache!
When you continue to just buy things on a regular basis on credit, it eventually will catch up with you. The vicious buying on credit cycle leads to more and more debt. This debt can easily spiral out of all control and really mess up your cash flow, while causing mounting stress and heartache.
So, count the cost. Think twice before you buy it! If you really want it or need it, then put a plan in place and save up for it!
You have a bad day or a bad year! So, in order to feel better, you decide to treat yourself in the spur of the moment, without having the cash to do so!
You may choose to take a holiday when you are feeling stressed and book it on your credit card. “Just charge it!”. Or you just go out to spoil yourself. You may end up buying new shoes even though you don’t need them. (Often you use it once and it gets left in the cupboard to gather dust).
Many call this “retail therapy”! “Retail therapy” may give you some instant and temporary relief and make you feel better now, but a mountain of debt tomorrow will not do much for your future stress levels.
Proverbs 14:16 tells us, “The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.”
Rather build room in your monthly budget to fund your entertainment and other needs. You can also save some of your hard-earned money to fund your dreams.
Money just burns a hole in my pocket!
Just like a person can be addicted to drugs, some people get addicted to the emotional high of spending. The old saying “money burns a hole in your pocket” seems to be true in the lives of those who are addicted to spending.
If your spending is out of control, you need to get help. Overspending leads to large amounts of debt.
Proverbs 21:10 says, “The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.”
So, get rid of the bad habits and start forming some good ones. Why not start investing some of your hard-earned money instead of foolishly spending your money on junk!
You can avoid the debt trap!
Why don’t you consider setting up a budget? You can even start tracking your spending.
By having a budget, you will know what you can afford, and more importantly, what you can’t.
So, set up a strategy to manage your money well, and don’t forget to set some funds aside for your entertainment and shopping too!
Proverbs 21:5 says, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty”
By budgeting effectively, you can create a good and balanced approach to your money management. Why not set some money aside for your entertainment and to have some fun? Just make sure that you also live within your means and that you also include saving and investing in your budget, so that you can build towards financial freedom.
It is vital that you spend less than you earn. Only spend money you can afford to spend.
You can greatly reduce your stress levels and increase your joy levels by forming good money habits.
Before you spend money ask yourself…
Is it worth it?
Do I really need it?
Can it wait?
Can I afford it?
Power quotes of the week:
Dave Ramsey tells us…
“We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”
“Act your wage!”
“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”
“You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.”
What does God have to say:
“Stay away from the love of money, be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5)
Trust in God…
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5)
And remember the reason for this season…
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Heavenly Father, please help me to manage my money well and to make wise choices. I commit my life into your hands. Thank you for Christmas. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Avoid the debt trap this Christmas. Remember the best things in life are free. And put your trust in God.
Have a blessed Christmas Season. May your life be filled with God’s richest blessing, peace, favor and joy!
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Very good Clinton, especially the quote about “gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you”. I suppose little steps to get back that control. Thanks, Maurice