The holiday shopping season is almost over. Sales are down a bit this year, and with good reason. Most people have less money to spend, and less confidence on receiving a boost in their income anytime soon. Consumers however, are still heading to the mall to catch all the bargains that retailers have to offer. The reason of course is to find those perfect gifts, along with the satisfaction of finding a great deal.
Retailers are hoping the last weekend of Christmas shopping will bring in increase of sales, as shoppers wait until the last moment, hoping for a reduction of prices. As for the consumers, too many people feel a pressure to purchase gifts for family, friends, and co-workers. They do not want to be caught receiving a gift, and not giving one. Often, people are almost forced into buying gifts for office party “Secret Santa’s”, or the “Round Robin” gift giving parties are very popular these days. These are the attitudes retailers love, but our wallets hate. Although the gifts given at these types of events are not usually extravagant, for many, they can push us over our overall budget.
But can you really afford all of these extra gifts. For too many people, the answer is “no”. Yet it happens every year. The feeling that it is all right to buy items on credit now, and that they will somehow manage to pay for their purchases over the following few months. Reality sets in however, in January and February, when the credit card statements arrive and too many people will find that they once again over extended their budgets. Many still have not fully paid off their debts from last year.
When the credit card balances become out of control, many people begin to search for their best debt consolidation. In years past, many consumers were able to borrow from the equity in their home to pay off their credit card debt. But as housing prices continue to drop, this is no longer an option. Many people contemplate bankruptcy. Although bankruptcy may be cheap and easy, the long term effects can be devastating, as it may take years for people to re-establish their credit. When so many aspects of life these days are Dependant on good credit, bankruptcy is really not a good option.
Then there is an elimination program. A true debt relief program will allow people to legally walk away from 100% of that debt, without bankruptcy, consolidation, or refinancing. This may sound too good to be true, until becoming educated on how and why this can be accomplished.