Thursday, December 3, 2009

Frugal Friday: Thinking Long Term

Christmas can be one of the biggest financial drains of the year. Advertising, store window displays, discounts at the mall, Black Friday all add up to a financial crash waiting to happen. Parents buy into the philosophy of buying their kid's love. Grown adults buy into the guilt of returning the favor. Office parties, secret Santa's, teacher gifts, big families, expectant kids (or spoiled kids), and overworked adults. Where did the joy go?

Even if you don't buy into the philosophy of Advent Conspiracy, this debt and consumerism still has has to be stopped. Who wants to start off a new year panicking over credit card debt? Who wants to start ANOTHER year panicking over credit card debt?

One of the keys I've recently learned is keeping my eye on long term goals. Every time I want to spend a little money, every time I want to make a big purchase, every time I want to completely go overboard on my kids, I just have to remember, "What's the long term goal? What's the bigger picture?"

And the bigger picture is:
* Keeping my new home
* Keeping a nest egg in this economy
* One day putting aside money for college educations
* Having a little extra to get away with my kids
* Having some money set aside to help out where God would have us help out

What's the long term goal? And making that purchase will do what to your long term goal?

Spending money on Christmas is not a bad choice. Spending money is an inevitable consequence of our life on earth. And blessing your family with a few gifts is not going to be the end of the world. I've been scanning ads and looking for something my 2 and 4 year old will love. But it's the hording and the stockpiling and the debt that needs to avoided. It's the buying at all cost. It's ignoring the debt, ignoring that poverty of others around the world. It's forgetting the long term goal.

For more money saving ideas, check out LIfe as Mom.

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