An earnest request, if you consider it relevant, if I may
In recent years, few people in our society have enjoyed anything but minimal increases in employment earnings, if any.
But the cost of living has continued to increase.
The official rate is something in the neighbourhood of 2%... but if you've visited a grocery store or various other retail outlets recently, you'll be inclined to doubt the veracity of the claim.
In recent years many people, not wanting to curtail their earlier lifestyle, or for whatever reason, have run up substantial debts.
Quite a number of them have been on credit cards ... and if one asks quite a number of the users what rates of interest they charge, apart from major penalties for late or missed payments ... many don't know, or their knowledge is a bit foggy.
On regular cards, the usual rate is around 18% ... and most stores who issue cards charge more like about 28%.
Recently, payday loan "stores" have been popping up in this area like mushrooms.
Most of them charge about $40.00 for a loan of $400.00 for about two weeks.
Please - DON"T USE THEM!
And if you owe amounts on your so-called "credit" cards: the minute before you use one for the first time you have no debt (there, at least), and the minute after you use it - you have debt.
A so-called "credit" card is really a "debt" card!
If you carry balances owing on your "credit" card from month to month ... that means that you pay next month (or in 6 months) for eating that you did last month, doesn't it?
If you want to eat now ... and pay later ... doesn't that mean that you're getting no benefit now ... from part of the work that you're doing now? That is, part of the time that you're working ... you're working for nothing, doesn't it?
Here's a serious question that I hope that you'll ask yourself ... do you expect that substantial raises in pay will be forthcoming in the next few years, in our neck of the woods?
I'm pretty sure that your answer will be, for most of us - NO!
And here's another: do you expect that prices will level out, that actual inflation will get really low, anytime soon:?
In which case ... please make a substantial effort to pay off your consumer loans, with the most effort given toward paying the ones with the highest fees first.
And when you have that accomplished ... please carry on that effort, to do as most personal financial advisors have counselled for years, to build up a substantial financial cushion, so that your hair doesn't stand on end (or you more or less sweat blood) when a financial emergency arises.
Please build a 3 - 6 month, and in current volatile economic conditions, more like 9 months' to a year's income as a savings, or emergency fund.
Because with costs going up ... and wages showing little increase ... if we think that we're having a hard time making ends meet now ... I'm pretty sure that it isn't going to get easier, any time soon.
If your prognosis of our current economic situation in our part of the world is less onerous ... I hope that you're right.
But I have a major concern that you're not.
Good wishes for you and yours as you look forward to Christmas, if that celebration is important to you, and to all of you for good things in the New Year.
ole joyful ... a personal financial advisor who, selling no financial products, had no conflict of interest ...
... and who celebrated Thanksgiving a month and a half ago - before the snow