Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Credit Crunch

With the economy turning the way it is, it is more important than ever that we all take a good hard look at our spending practices. Do we really need that I-Phone? Is it really necessary to drive thru the burger joint or can you make burgers, or anything else for that matter, at home? Do you really need a new pair of shoes or do you just want them?

With Christmas coming up, it will be more important than ever to watch how and where you spend. Advertising will be aimed at getting you to go on one last spending spree before the New Year. Key indicators are showing that what has happened to the housing market will happen to the credit card industry in early 2009. So that credit card you have been struggling to pay off will more than likely try to bury you in the spring. When credit companies go under, it will be because too many of their cardholders can't make their payments and they have no cash on hand to meet the company's expenses, like payroll, building rent, electric, etc. and they will either need a bailout like the housing market, or they will collapse as well. That will mean that no one will be able to get new credit and the credit you already have will suffer from extreme interest rates.

The best way to handle this is to get out of debt NOW. If you do not have any credit cards or pay them off every month, why not just spot using them altogether? Just don't have one. If you have relatively low balances, pay them off completely and stop using them. Paying for something on credit just isn't worth the interest rates in the long run. If you find something that is on sale for $100 dollars and it looks like a really good deal, you buy it on the credit card that you are already carrying a balance on, at 19% interest, you are paying $119.00 for it the second month, $141.61 the third month, $168.51 the forth month, etc, until it is paid off. That $100 purchase doesn't look like such a good deal anymore, does it. And that is considering you don't have a late fee in there somewhere that causes your interest rate to skyrocket upward of 25-30%. Best bet is to just stop using credit.

If you can't pay cash for it , don't buy it. And even if you can pay cash, do you really need it?

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