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The Money Minute - December 2012  

In this Issue


  

 

Celebrate Your Successes

Remember back on January 1, 2012, when you made your New Year’s resolutions? You were going to lose weight, work out more or get on a budget. If you didn’t accomplish what you wanted to do, don’t beat yourself up. Anytime we go into something with an all or nothing attitude, it makes our effort difficult to sustain. Baby steps are the key to making long-term changes. So as the year is winding down, think back on what you did achieve this year and build on those accomplishments.


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Holiday Overspending Can Have 
Long-Term Consequences

Millions of consumers have begun their holiday shopping, snagging sale items either in-person or online and therefore considering themselves savvy shoppers. At the same time, many lost sight of the fact that regardless of the price, a bargain isn’t a smart purchase if it compromises a person’s overall financial health.

 

Read the entire article.

 

What’s On Your Keychain?

Most of us have them…loyalty cards for our favorite places, brands, and services.  We’re rewarded with enticing membership offers for discount prices, cash-back savings, reward points toward merchandise, VIP experiences, etc.—you get the idea.  Companies are finding more and more creative ways to reward our loyalty and keep us as customers.

 

To read the entire article click here.

 

Webinar: Recovering From Your Holiday
Spending Hangover

Did the holidays put you financially out of whack? In December, we tend to overspend, resigning ourselves to dealing with the problem after the season is over. In this webinar you will learn how to create a spending plan to get you back on track, strategies to pay down your debt and get some great tips to be financially prepared for next year’s holiday season.

The dates for the webinar are:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 --- 12:00pm EST.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 --- 12:00pm PST.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013  --- 12:00pm CST.

To register or to find out more click here.

 

Overwhelming Majority of Consumers Will Cut Back
Or Spend Zero on Holiday Purchases

The November poll hosted on Apprisen’s website asked consumers about their holiday spending.The results revealed that forty-two percent of consumers intend to spend less on holiday purchases this year than last, indicating they are in a worse financial position, while thirty percent plan to spend nothing at all, as they fear further financial distress. This statistic speaks loudly, and underscores that consumers are not willing to repeat the mistakes of Christmases past by spending irresponsibly this year.

 

 Read the entire article.

 

 

Celebrate Your Successes

Remember back on January 1, 2012, when you made your New Year’s resolutions? You were going to lose weight, work out more or get on a budget. If you didn’t accomplish what you wanted to do, don’t beat yourself up. Anytime we go into something with an all or nothing attitude, it makes our effort difficult to sustain. Baby steps are the key to making long- term changes. So as the year is winding down, think back on what you did achieve this year and build on those accomplishments.

If your goal was to establish an emergency savings account and add to it regularly, how did you do? If you opened up the account, give yourself credit. If you set up a direct deposit from your paycheck, that’s another plus. However, you may have put money in but it didn’t stay there for long. That’s okay, you’ve started the process, that’s the important thing.  Ask yourself,” Is the amount I am depositing unrealistic? Would I have more success if I deposited only $10 a paycheck instead of $50?” Adding a smaller dollar amount to your account and leaving it in there is far more advantageous then depositing more and taking it out. Start small, think big.

Take the time to think about your other successes. Did you make small changes in your spending? Take your lunch to work? Say no to a purchase you really wanted because you couldn’t afford it? Do your own manicure? All of these things are stepping stones to help you achieve your goal, whatever that may be. So as you think about your 2013 resolutions, look back on what you did right this year, give yourself a pat on the back, and take it to the next level!! 

 

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Holiday Overspending Can Have Long-Term Consequences

Millions of consumers have begun their holiday shopping, snagging sale items either in-person or online and therefore considering themselves savvy shoppers. At the same time, many lost sight of the fact that regardless of the price, a bargain isn’t a smart purchase if it compromises a person’s overall financial health.

The holiday season is that time of the year when people shop with their heart, not their head. Emotional spending during the holidays is often the tipping point that pushes people over the edge financially, as common sense can take a backseat during this time of the year.

To help consumers remain financially responsible during the holidays, Apprisen offers the following five reminders of the long-term consequences of over-spending, some of which can last far after the lights are taken down and the tinsel is packed away.
 

  • Paying additional interest - Adding new debt to an existing debt load, one which cannot be paid in full when the bill arrives, equals paying a larger dollar amount of interest due to the higher outstanding balance. Even worse, when a balance is carried over from month-to-month on an account, interest is paid on the previous months’ interest.  People often boast of buying an item on sale, then pay for it over time, thus wiping out any savings.
  • Diminished future borrowing power – An increased level of debt could cause lenders to decline applications for new lines of credit or loans. Since no one knows what the future holds, not being in a position to tap into new credit is something to guard against.
  • Diminished future buying power – Buying on credit is a contractual agreement to pay the debt later, often with money that has yet to be earned. Using tomorrow’s money for today’s expenses compromises future spending.
  • Lower credit score – Excessive debt often leads to paying late, skipping payments, and utilizing too high a percentage of open credit, all of which could lower the all-important credit score. Further, applying for new lines of credit simply to save money on today’s purchase will not only increase the temptation to spend, but will show as an inquiry on the credit report, potentially lowering the score.
  • Debt interferes with life - Debt is a 24/7 problem, distracts people from their job and home-life, interrupts sleep and potentially causes marital strife.

With the economy still on shaky ground and job security not something to be counted on, it makes no sense to self-inflict financial damage this holiday season. That’s why we encourage you to keep this five reminders in mind and spend wisely during the holidays.

 

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Overwhelming Majority of Consumers Will Cut Back Or Spend Zero
on Holiday Purchases

The November poll hosted on Apprisen’s website asked consumers about their holiday spending.  The results revealed that forty-two percent of consumers intend to spend less on holiday purchases this year than last, indicating they are in a worse financial position, while thirty percent plan to spend nothing at all, as they fear further financial distress.  This statistic speaks loudly, and underscores that consumers are not willing to repeat the mistakes of Christmases past by spending irresponsibly this year.

A seemingly contradictory statistic was revealed in Apprisen’s October poll where sixty-nine percent of those participating felt that their best financial days were in front of them.  Taken together, the two polls suggest that Americans are both optimistic and realistic, a combination that could lead to a brighter financial future. 

It takes optimism to endure the difficult economic times of the past few years. However, it takes a dose of realism to not become an emotional spender during the holidays.  It appears as though consumers have learned a tough lesson, and will emerge better equipped to face future financial challenges.

Looking at the other poll answer options, twenty percent intend to spend as they did in 2011, stating that their financial situation is now stable, while seven percent will spend more, feeling as though they are in a better financial position this year.

Holiday spending can financially make or break retailers.  The same is true for consumers.  Don’t let it be your personal fiscal cliff. 

The actual November poll question and responses are as follows:

This holiday season I will…

A. Spend as I did last year because my financial life is stable = 20% 
B. Cut back on spending, since I am worse off financially this year = 42%
C. Spend more than last year because I am in a better financial position = 7%
D. Not spend at all, because I anticipate further financial distress = 30%

 

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