Christmas without Credit Cards?

#debtfreexmas

You betcha!!  We can do this and forever change Christmas and give new meaning to Happy New Year.  It’s March and it’s time.

I did something last week that I’ve never done previously.  I opened up a Christmas savings account at a local Credit Union (CU). I’m earning 2% on my deposits (maximum deposit of $4k) up until November of this year.  In November, the CU will close the account and send me a check for the balance in the account and cha ching, my Christmas spending has been financed with all equity (in this case cash), instead of all debt.  That’s corporate finance lingo for raising the capital to fund a project.  The “project” is Christmas.

Every year I tell myself I’m not going to charge my Christmas gifts to my credit card and guess what?  Every year I do.  When January rolls around, the anxiety kicks in when the bills start rolling in.  So much for a Happy New Year.  I want my next Christmas to be a debt free Christmas.

Where the heck can you earn 2% these days? Google it.  Opening balances on these type accounts can be as low as $20 with suggested monthly deposits of $20.  Bankrate.com has stated that banks may have stepped away from offering these type accounts.  Check out credit unions as a starting point.  Some are still offering the accounts.  Be committed, because fees could apply if you fall off the wagon.

Every day on Twitter personal finance bloggers are devoting incredible amounts of time blogging about getting out of credit card debt.  Are we Americans addicted to credit card debt?  Could a Christmas savings account be our twelve step program to stop overspending at Christmas?  It’s a start.

We can do this!  Repeat after me:  #debtfreexmas.  Email or tweet me and tell me when it’s checked off your to-do list.  Add this to the list of my other baby steps, but this step is definitely worth taking.  I also like this concept for vacation savings.  Call it your emergency fund for both Christmas and vacations.

Paula Cashflow’s mission is to build wealth, slowly and steadily.  Reducing and eliminating credit card is an essential component to a wealth building strategy.

Work with me on this one and try it out.  You may just surprise yourself.  If anything, you are now re-focused on finding ways to decrease usage of a credit card.  Sit down and plan out your Christmas spending now.  Don’t go over-board.  Set aside the funds now or each month and position yourself to celebrate the 2016 New Year with personal financial bliss.

Because it’s about life and how you live it!

In the spirit of financial well-being,

Paula Cashflow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Night at the Oscars

Is it safe to say that winning an Oscar is the equivalent or better of your boss giving you an “exceeds expectations” on your annual performance review?

Well, I would hope so.  But that’s not to say that not winning an Oscar means that your performance review would indicate that you only “met expectations”.  After-all, Bradley Cooper is getting closer to the big guy each year.

But here’s what winning an Oscar does give you?  The big stage.  A platform.  An audience.  A learning opportunity.  And, a wealth building opportunity. Continue reading

Avoid these Financial Pitfalls

Paying attention to the details

Attention to Detail has been part of my playbook for many years. In addition to benefitting my career, I have found that Attention to Detail can benefit your finances too. Oftentimes, our past ways of handling major financial decisions has involved overlooking some of the finer details, resulting in a loss of cashflow or net worth. In fact, I know from personal experience that many companies use Attention to Detail as a benchmark to determine who they will hire. Why not use Attention to Detail when making big financial decisions? See if any of the following examples ring familiar. In the spirit of your future financial well-being, read on and let me know your thoughts. Continue reading

Five C’s of Credit

The Five C’s of Credit

My career has spanned both personal finance and corporate finance.  It even included a six year stint in banking.  If you’ve been following Paula Cashflow’s journey, then you already know I’m big on takeaways.  A takeaway is something that you learn from a particular situation, person or experience that could create future value in your life. Continue reading

Building Wealth using Baby Steps

Building Wealth using Baby Steps

The Power of Compounding

If you’ve ever taken a Pilates class, you know that Pilates is all about working your core.  I’m always amazed when the Pilates instructor says that strengthening your core is done with small and steady poses or movements using your core. The core can be described as the area from the bottom of the rib cage to a line across the hip joints in the front and to the base of the buttocks in the back. Continue reading

What to do with your raise in 2015

When it’s not possible to live beneath your means, choosing the next best thing like living within your means is a good thing.  It took me years to have a surplus at the end of the day.  But it is achievable.  In the meantime, there are some valuable things you can do to move up from living within your means to living beneath your means.  The New Year is the best time to get started. Continue reading

Feeling good about stock market lows?

Never have I spent more time on a blog, then I have this week.  I generally start writing each week’s blog on Sunday.  That way I can provide my readers with current information followed up by guidance on the latest financial news. This week has been somewhat bipolar.  I intended on writing about the stock market lows that started a week ago.  Until now. Continue reading

Feeling good about stock market highs?

Check in on these five things now?

Over the last four weeks we’ve experienced a mini stock market crash of almost 8 percent. Although 8 percent is not considered “correction” territory, many investors found themselves feeling anxious about the future. Luckily the rebound has been astronomical and not only have we recovered the 8 percent, but the stock market has gone on to set all time new highs. The S&P 500 is currently above 2030, an increase of about 10 percent this year. If these highs and lows or “volatility” continues, and all arguments point to the fact that it could, does it now make sense to take advantage of these times and make changes to your investments? Take a look at these five suggestions to see if they have merit for your qualified and tax deferred plans. Continue reading