When your budget won't let you give gifts to everyone in the world—which is always, by the way—who should you give...
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December isn’t that far away.
That might not seem to be the case right now, but when the end of the year gets close, you’ll look back on 2013 and wonder where all the time went.
We’ve been talking for weeks now about how to make it happen this year—how to reach your goals and make the most of your time. To help you avoid looking back on the year with regret, we put together some questions that you don’t want to be asking yourself—or someone else—when 2013 draws to a close.
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Honey, have we paid your dad back for that $50 loan?
You might have some ups and downs this year. But no matter what, don’t borrow money from your family or friends! Thanksgiving dinner will taste different when you owe money to your dad or your brother or your cousin. And it will taste even worse when they owe you money.
Can we glue our credit cards back together?
No! If you make a decision to give up credit cards once and for all in 2013, then stick to that decision. Don’t waver! You don’t want to get another credit card, reapply for your old one, or dig through your recycle bin looking for your shredded-up Visa. This is not how you win with money!
Have you seen the invoice for the Disney World trip?
If you’re working on your debt snowball, this situation is sure to pop up this year. Sometime between now and December, you’re going to be tempted to “treat yourself” to a vacation because of all the hard work you’ve put in this year. Sure, take a breath, relax, and go on a date with your spouse. But, whatever you do, avoid the temptation to take a weeklong trip that will add a few thousand dollars to your debt snowball. Disney World can wait.
Do these Gucci shoes make my debt look less fat?
If you ask yourself this question at the end of 2013, you must answer it this way: “No, those Gucci shoes make my debt look really, really fat.” When you’re fighting your way through the debt snowball, buying a pair of designer shoes is like eating four sticks of fried butter while you’re on a diet. That also goes for large-screen televisions and shiny cars and season tickets to your favorite sports team and … you get the point.
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Don’t you think that buying the timeshare was the best financial move we made this year?
Please, whatever you do in 2013, do not buy a timeshare. If you do, you’ll likely own it for the rest of your life because you can hardly give the things away. If you get invited to a timeshare meeting and get offered a free vacation, politely decline. Those salesmen are like piranhas. Timeshares are a terrible investment. You don’t want any part of them.
Why don’t we have any charitable deductions for this year?
The purpose of giving shouldn’t be to get the tax deduction, but it is a nice bonus. You don’t want to get to the end of 2013 and realize that your giving was … less than awesome this year. Go ahead and put it in the budget. Make it a routine. Whether you schedule your giving weekly, monthly, quarterly or all at once—that’s up to you. Just make it a part of your life this year.
Hopefully, you’re plugging right along with all your goals in 2013. And no matter how many goals you’ve made, you now have one more: Make sure you don’t ask any of these questions at the end of the year!