November 27, 2019
Thanksgiving has become the start of a season of overindulgence for many people. This year, I want you to take a different path.
When Thanksgiving dinner comes around, we typically find ourselves filling a plate with all the trimmings – mashed potatoes, stuffing, fried turkey, a slice of each pie. Everything you would normally steer clear of to stay on track for your health goals. But this one meal somehow ends up containing your normal weeks’ worth of calories, and all you’re left with is feeling bloated and tired.
I see the same thing happening on Black Friday. Advertisers spend millions of dollars to get you to spend money at their stores or online. They convince you that you are actually saving money by shopping with them and purchasing these “amazing” deals. And what do you do? You fill your shopping cart.
Don’t fall for it. And don’t fall for the store-brand credit card offers that tout higher savings on your purchases at checkout. The average interest rate is more than 20%, and they can end up being a very expensive mistake.
Unlike your indulgent and calorie-filled Thanksgiving dinner, your Black Friday spending spree can have you paying the price for many years to come.
My friends, you need to stand in your truth right here and right now. If any of your Black Friday spending will cause you to go over-budget or be placed on credit cards that you are not 110% sure you can pay off in full at the end of the month, you are going to pay dearly.
This Thanksgiving, if you do choose to indulge, I ask you to enjoy an extra plate of turkey before you are tempted to spend money you don’t have, on things you don’t need. By giving yourself the gift of financial security and practicing gratitude for the abundance already in your life, I promise your holiday season will be much more enjoyable.
Answer Yes or No to the follow statements.
I pay all my credit card bills in full each month.
I have an eight-month emergency savings fund separate from my checking or other bank accounts.
The car I am driving was paid for with cash, or a loan that was no more than three years, and I sure didn’t lease!
I am contributing at least 10% of my gross salary to a retirement plan at work, or I am saving at least that much in an IRA and/or regular taxable account.
I have a long-term asset allocation plan for my retirement investments, and once a year I check to see if I need to do any rebalancing to stay on target with my allocation goals.
I have term life insurance to provide protection to those who are dependent on my income.
I have a will, a trust, an advance directive (living will), and have appointed someone to be my health care proxy.
So how did you do?
If you answered yes to every item, congratulations. If you are working on improving on a few items, I say congratulations as well.
As long as you are comitted to truly creating financial security, I applaud you. If that means you are paying down your credit card balances, or are building up your emergency fun with automated payments, that’s more than fine. You are on your way!
But if you found yourself saying No to any of those questions, and you’re not working on moving to Yes, then I want you to stand in your truth. No matter how good you feel, you have some work to do before you can honestly know what you are on solid financial ground.