Spend­ing smart

The Compass - - OPINION - An­drew Robin­son is The Com­pass’ ed­i­tor. He is not will­ing to di­vulge the cur­rent con­tents of his bank ac­count and can be reached at ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca.

The dec­o­ra­tions are all put away for another year and the tree is out of the house or stored in the base­ment — that de­pends on whether its nee­dles fall or re­main in­dus­tri­ally fresh ev­ery Christ­mas.

There likely re­mains another re­minder of the hol­i­day sea­son close at hand. We’re not talk­ing about left­over snacks.

Per­haps it’s a bank state­ment with a lower than usual sum of money listed at the bot­tom.

Then there are oth­ers who might be happy to have the abil­ity to with­draw any sort of amount from their sav­ings ac­count. Or they might be look­ing at a long list of credit card pur­chases need­ing to be ad­dressed.

Not ev­ery fam­ily nec­es­sar­ily feels it, but with an on­slaught of ad­ver­tise­ments aimed at cre­at­ing the de­sire for cer­tain goods, there’s def­i­nitely a pres­sure at play to spend, and spend, and spend to en­sure Jenny or Johnny’s Christ­mas is a good one.

It’s tough hav­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence the post-Christ­mas blues. The ques­tion is, when those blues come about due to fi­nan­cial con­straints, how does one best re­act?

If it’s a case where you have a size­able debt to deal with, one might first want to look at the in­ter­est be­ing paid. A good re­la­tion­ship with a bank up to this point might leave you in the po­si­tion to start a line of credit. There is a chance you could lower your in­ter­est pay­ment if that debt is trans­ferred from a credit card to a line of credit.

Bud­get­ing is a good way to fig­ure out what you ab­so­lutely need to spend money on and where you can re­duce ex­penses.

Maybe there are add-on por­tions of your TV cable pack­age that can be can­celled for a spell while try­ing to pay off your debt? Spend­ing for the pur­pose of en­ter­tain­ment, re­ward­ing as it is, tends to be a lit­tle frivolous when com­pared to what’s truly im­por­tant.

Granted, all this ad­vice is com­ing from a mind that works in com­mu­nity news and has prob­a­bly writ­ten more sto­ries about dogs and cats than money mat­ters. But th­ese is­sues are fairly univer­sal.

Also, there are re­sources out there for peo­ple need­ing help. Credit Coun­selling Canada comes to mind. It’s non-profit, and its mem­ber agen­cies are of­ten will­ing to pro­vide coun­sel­ing free-of-charge.

When you’re in a money crunch, free is a good thing.

Bud­get­ing is a good way to fig­ure out what you ab­so­lutely need to spend money on and where you can re­duce ex­penses.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.