Simplify The Season of Stuff

Last year, Patrick posted about the things to keep in mind during the season of stuff. It was timely, and led to this post asking those that give to us to consider donations, or money toward a high-value item that would last years, over the small stuff that will be discarded within a year.

Think about this as you go through this holiday season. What is truly meaningful to you? What message do you want to send your kids and/or grandkids? You have a wonderful opportunity!

Let’s change it up, give back, and keep this season simple and fun, remembering its true value is in the friends and family you celebrate with.

Repay Your Debt

I was thinking about this the other day, thought I’d share. We owe money, like most people. We have generous friends and family that have helped us out throughout the years. We have student loans, we have a mortgage, and we have car payments. We’re lucky that we have minimal credit card debt.

Anyhow, I’ll get to the point. Don’t be a chump. Don’t wait for a bailout. Pay back your debt, and do it in this order:

  1. Friends: because you don’t want to be “that” guy.
  2. Family: because you may need them to loan it back in the future.
  3. Credit Cards: because they are brutal.
  4. Automobile: because car payments suck.
  5. Other (mortgage, student loans, etc.): because they are, typically, fair and manageable investments.

“How do I do this?” You might ask. Easy:

  • Buy a used car. (And join a credit union so you’ll get a better rate).
  • Go out to eat (or, especially, drink) one or two fewer times per week.
  • Quit with the Starbucks (or variation). Brew at home, and buy a nice to-go cup. Like the specialty drinks? Have you seen the flavors the creamer companies have come out with recently. Buy some.
  • Drop the gym membership. Be honest, you don’t really use it, anyway (if you’re in the 5% who actually do, kudos to you). Do some pushups and crunches, jump rope, ride a bike. Do yoga at home.
  • Get a cell plan that fits your usage. One should never EVER pay overage fees or excessive texting fees.

Keep it simple. There are plenty of ways to save a few bucks here and there so you can take care of that pesky debt. Get creative. Most importantly, do it. However you have to. Do it.