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Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308782  
Subject: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 1:14 PM
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A news report today said that the average consumer will take about six months to pay off the credit cards they're using for this year's holiday shopping. I think that's very troubling, though not surprising. I can't imagine spending on gifts and then having to face the next 1/2 year to pay for them (not to mention all the mounting interest).

In my case, the bills are being paid in full as they come in, so I won't be facing what this report says. How long does everyone here think it'll take them?

Have you prepared for this year's shopping? Will you be facing many months of bills till you break even? Is this year better for you than in the past?

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba
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Author: TchrP Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174425 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 1:20 PM
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My holiday gift shopping is finished and everything will be paid for as soon as the statements arrive. But the total cost was under $100.


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Author: ExplorerDora Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174426 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 1:30 PM
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My gift budget is $1000 for Christmas. It will be paid in full when the credit card bill arrives. Thank you, Freedom Fund!

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174427 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 1:34 PM
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Have you prepared for this year's shopping? Will you be facing many months of bills till you break even? Is this year better for you than in the past?

Normally I do my shopping during the summer and early fall, and the bills are paid in full each month. But this year, since I only just started working, I hadn't bought much until this week. I've spent most of the snowstorm on-line, looking for various presents.

At this point I'm a little over the half-way mark. Four presents have to be made, and they may be delivered after Christmas. A couple of other presents may also be sent after Christmas. But I should have everything paid off by the end of January.

One problem with holiday spending is that a lot of people equate spending money with showing love. They feel they have to purchase the expensive necklace, or the newest electronic gadget, or the new pair of skiis, in order to prove they love someone. And when you look at gift suggestions in the newspapers or magazines they always list expensive items. I buy less expensive presents. (In fact, my gift to my aunt this year is a pair of earrings I found at an antique dealers. They cost a grand total of $1.75. But they're very pretty, and my aunt will be delighted). I don't need to spend a huge amount of money to buy a nice present for someone.

And my family and friends feel the same way. They would be horrified (well, most of them would be horrified; there are one or two exceptions) at the thought of someone going into debt to purchase a Christmas fantasy. They spend money, yes. And they give nice gifts. But they generally plan how much they can afford to spend, and don't go into debt.

Maybe I have a weird family? We don't shop the day after Thanksgiving, either.

Nancy

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Author: llamalluv Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174430 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 1:44 PM
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How about a more chilling question:

Anyone ELSE here still paying off LAST year's bills?

How about bills from that friggin' Beatles (yes, BEATLES!!!! Blek, gag, ptooey!) CD that you bought 4 years ago for a guy that you now hate with the fire of 1,000 suns?!?!?!?!?!

Oh, is that just me????

frissy

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Author: FoolYap Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174431 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 2:07 PM
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Have you prepared for this year's shopping? Will you be facing many months of bills till you break even?

Nope. Been putting aside money every paycheck into my ING account. Am more than fully funded as of the last paycheck. Will have a little extra money to toss into other "funds" this month, and will have Xmas fund money leftover for next year.

--FY

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Author: FoolYap Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174432 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 2:11 PM
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How about bills from that friggin' Beatles (yes, BEATLES!!!! Blek, gag, ptooey!) CD

Well, there's your problem right there: Your taste in music sucks.

;-)

--FY

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Author: reallyalldone Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174434 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 2:42 PM
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How long does everyone here think it'll take them?

Have you prepared for this year's shopping? Will you be facing many months of bills till you break even? Is this year better for you than in the past?


It'll take until I get my January bills and pay them. When my husband tops out, the amount that was going to social security goes to savings. That's my budget. It's kind of the same. My daughter won't get home until Dec 28th so we'll have to decide what things will wait and what we might do twice. I think my difficulties this year will have nothing to do with money.

rad


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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174435 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 2:45 PM
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I am financially prepared for Christmas. I am not emotionally prepared. Gifts for 2 people bought and 10 left to buy before the 19th.

Debra

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Author: Sadiekillmouski Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174437 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 3:07 PM
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llamaluv...don't be afraid to tell us how you REALLY feel!

Sadie ("Been there, done that" Killmouski

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Author: Sadiekillmouski Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174438 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 3:12 PM
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Four gifts, each $50 or less...paid in cash. Bought,wrapped and paid for. Bring on the egg nog...

Sadie Killmouski
She of the truely F'ed up credit


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Author: w8ingtodance One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174439 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 3:34 PM
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This is the second year in a row that nothing was put on credit. Laid away early and paid cash for all. I am 85% done, and only have two extended family members left besides my dh. I can't tell you the joy that I feel knowing that I am not in debt up to my eyeballs when dd opens her gifts!!

w8ingtodance

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Author: Steve39C One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174440 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 3:49 PM
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We use our Credit Union to save for Christmas. We have a set budget related to what we've saved. So all Xmas expenses will be paid cash.
Sc

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Author: CindyC72 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174441 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 4:25 PM
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Have you prepared for this year's shopping?

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I mean, no, I am not prepared so much for the shopping itself...

Will you be facing many months of bills till you break even?

Should be done w/ it all by mid-January at the latest. Just depends on if the charges come through before my last check in December or afterwards.

Is this year better for you than in the past?

Christmas has been financial easy and paid off within a month ever since my ex left.

Cindy

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Author: 7karen Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174442 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 4:26 PM
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We may be stuck with using the credit cards, since some of the Christmas gifts are probably going to be ordered online or from catalogs. There is still a balance on all my credit cards, which will probably take a while to pay off. But BF is getting more hours, and I'm hopeful that I can make larger payments so that the balance on the cards is the same as before the holidays, or smaller.

btw - as far as credit card balances are concerned, Christmas gifts have nowhere near the impact of holiday travel!

- karen

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Author: 7karen Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174443 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 4:36 PM
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"One problem with holiday spending is that a lot of people equate spending money with showing love."

Sad but true... It's a little strange, too, when the aunts & grandparents give up & give the kids gift certificates or cash. (Not that I minded, as a teenager, getting a letter and a $10 bill stuck in a Christmas card.) Strange for the ones in the family who are strapped for cash & making presents or trying to buy them on sale.

- karen

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Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174444 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 5:07 PM
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My holiday gift shopping is finished and everything will be paid for as soon as the statements arrive. But the total cost was under $100.

Mine also will be paid for as soon as the statements arrive, though I'm sure we're still not done. My wife takes care of the brunt of it, and I just have a few things to get. Eventually, I'll get around to it.

One of the things that really tides me over is the holiday club. Every week, a specified amount is deducted from my checking account and put into the holiday club account. There's no waiting for a check to arrive as the way the bank does it is very simple. They move the money, and anytime I want it, I just transfer it online from one account to the other.

Truth is, it's not a very savvy thing for me to do from a financial point of view. The amount of interest I get is a joke, and I should at least just be moving the money each week myself from checking to savings where the interest would be a fraction higher.

But I do it this way simply because it works for me. I don't have to think about it.

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

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Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174445 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 5:07 PM
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My gift budget is $1000 for Christmas. It will be paid in full when the credit card bill arrives. Thank you, Freedom Fund!

Way to go, Dora! It sounds like your Freedom Fund is like my holiday club. Whatever it is, the point is it works!

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

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Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174446 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 5:12 PM
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Nancy, you're right on. Too many people do equate "value" and love with how much is spent, and that buys right into the commercialization of the holidays.

The gifts that mean the most to me are the ones that show thought. The simplest gifts are the ones most remembered, I think. What a nice gift it is just to receive a thoughtful note, or a handmade item that clearly shows how the giver had you in mind.

Once in a while I'll get Christmas gifts from students (by 8th grade, it's not usual to get gifts--they have several teachers), and the ones that have the most meaning are always the ones where the student took the time to create it.

As far as shopping in the summer and fall? That's always amazed me. I've always thought it's a great idea, but once the holidays come around, I don't even want to think about that stuff for a whole year. ;-)

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

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Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174447 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 5:15 PM
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Anyone ELSE here still paying off LAST year's bills?

How about bills from that friggin' Beatles (yes, BEATLES!!!! Blek, gag, ptooey!) CD that you bought 4 years ago for a guy that you now hate with the fire of 1,000 suns?!?!?!?!?!

Oh, is that just me????


Yeeeowch!!!

Frissy, this year just send out a note saying:

"Happy Holidays <insert name>!
This note is your gift this year. Notice it's handwritten which shows how I took the time and thought of you. Since I'm still paying off my holiday shopping bills from last year, not spending this year is the best thing I can do for myself, and truly, it's the best gift I can give to you because it'll help me out of debt and therefore make me a calmer person and better <insert 'friend', 'relative', etc.> to you. So you see, I'm not only doing this for myself, I'm doing it for you too."

And then, sell that darn Beatles CD on eBay!

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba



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Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174448 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 5:17 PM
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Nope. Been putting aside money every paycheck into my ING account. Am more than fully funded as of the last paycheck. Will have a little extra money to toss into other "funds" this month, and will have Xmas fund money leftover for next year.

Another success story! Good for you, FoolYap!

I'm with you on that ING account. So far, I haven't taken out a cent since I've opened it back in April, and have been adding to it whenever I can.

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

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Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174449 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 5:19 PM
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Christmas has been financial easy and paid off within a month ever since my ex left.

Get that grin off your face, Cindy. You're looking wayyyy to happy. ;-)

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

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Author: CindyC72 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174451 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 5:44 PM
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Get that grin off your face, Cindy. You're looking wayyyy to happy. ;-)

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba


LOL!! Well, when he left, his parents, 7 brothers & sisters, their spouses and 10 kids from his side of the family went off the Christmas list as well. (And would you like to guess who had to take care of all the shopping and shipping?)

The first year shopping after he was gone was a breeze.

Cindy

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Author: exeter17 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174453 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 6:51 PM
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"One problem with holiday spending is that a lot of people equate spending money with showing love."

Sad but true... It's a little strange, too, when the aunts & grandparents give up & give the kids gift certificates or cash. (Not that I minded, as a teenager, getting a letter and a $10 bill stuck in a Christmas card.) Strange for the ones in the family who are strapped for cash & making presents or trying to buy them on sale.


*****

I'll prolly get flamed, but cash is the perfect gift. Gift cards adn certificates expire/get lost, and I used to get all kinds of junk that I wuld never use.

At least cash helps them but something they would really enjoy and use.

Ex17



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Author: Fallout2Queen Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174454 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 7:09 PM
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How about bills from that friggin' Beatles (yes, BEATLES!!!! Blek, gag, ptooey!) CD that you bought 4 years ago for a guy that you now hate with the fire of 1,000 suns?!?!?!?!?!

****
And then, sell that darn Beatles CD on eBay!

She bought(charged) the cd 4 years ago as a gift and gave it to then-BF. She can't sell something she doesn't have.


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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174455 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 7:11 PM
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I'll prolly get flamed, but cash is the perfect gift. Gift cards adn certificates expire/get lost, and I used to get all kinds of junk that I wuld never use.

At least cash helps them but something they would really enjoy and use.


I don't intend to get into the gift vs. gift card or cash matter, but my original point was that many people feel you have to buy the most expensive item available to prove that you love someone.

They won't buy the interesting paperback that a person might enjoy, because it doesn't cost enough money. They have to buy the newest, the most expensive, the flashiest, of whatever it is, because that is how they show their love. They can't be satisfied with a small item. It has to be something you can dazzle people with. They won't buy an unusual, or pretty pair of earrings that cost $6.00. They have to buy diamond studs that cost $600.00. They aren't satisfied with a small toy, it has to be the newest Nintendo or Playstation.

Buying a Mercedes proves how much you love someone.

They don't know how much you care unless it comes from Tiffanys.

I generally set a price limit of around $20.00 per person for the Christmas presents that I buy. I make some items.

Trust me, no one has ever complained. Some of my presents are opened last, because the best are saved for last. They are unusual, or on target, or fill a need. I spend a lot of time and effort, but not much money, trying to find something to make someone happy.

I don't need to spend money, and rack up debt. And I don't think other people should spend money and rack up debt for me, either.

That was the point of my comment, that I couldn't understand the need some people had to spend huge amounts of money, thinking that it would show how much they cared. Anyone with a small child has seen a kid open a huge box of some important present, then start playing with the open box.

Now, I'm not suggesting you give big empty boxes to everyone this year. But unless the people you know have become incredibly spoiled, a gift that suggests thought and care should matter just as much as the diamond studs.

Nancy

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Author: MaestroCindi Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174456 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 7:38 PM
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I'll basically be paying cash or paying off the credit card purchases in full. I usually spend around $100 on my mom's gift, and this year I'll probably spend $150-200 on a good friend and her kids since they all helped me do an interstate move this past summer. Other friends/extended family get an x-mas card -- but at least I do take the time to write something personal to each one instead of just signing it.

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Author: MaestroCindi Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174457 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 7:51 PM
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my original point was that many people feel you have to buy the most expensive item available to prove that you love someone.

I think it goes further than that to some people feel they have to buy a gift period to prove they care.

I've never understood why people feel they must buy gifts for extended family whenever they're dating someone or even married. Like a roommate of mine was dating a guy for 6 months when Christmas rolled around, so she bought gifts for all his nieces and nephews, and I don't think she had even met them yet.

When my sister first got married for a couple years I would get my BIL a birthday gift and buy them seperate Christmas gifts. But than I realized I'm one person buying them 2 gifts, while they've got 2 incomes but they're buying me one gift together. And I don't mean for that to come off in a Scrougie or selfish way; it's just when you're maintaining a household on one income your money doesn't go as far as people with a duel income. So while back I just decided they get a family gift, and the same for any family I might give gifts to (except this year since my friend helped me move).

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Author: dianakalt Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174461 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 9:37 PM
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A news report today said that the average consumer will take about six months to pay off the credit cards they're using for this year's holiday shopping. I think that's very troubling, though not surprising. I can't imagine spending on gifts and then having to face the next 1/2 year to pay for them (not to mention all the mounting interest).

In my case, the bills are being paid in full as they come in, so I won't be facing what this report says. How long does everyone here think it'll take them?

Have you prepared for this year's shopping? Will you be facing many months of bills till you break even? Is this year better for you than in the past?


First, and most importantly....

Hi Tony! Nice to see you posting over here!

Some of my holiday purchases will be with cash, but probably most with the credit card, and like Tony I will be paying them off as soon as the bill comes in. I cannot IMAGINE paying for my xmas presents for six months!

This is the fifth year in a row that I will be paying all my xmas bills immediately, thanks so my wonderful, wonderful Freedom Account which receives a deposit for gifts every single payday.

Most of my friends seem to be worried about how they are going to save up for xmas gifts/include xmas in the December budget/pay off the xmas bills at the first of the year. They seem stunned when I tell them it's NOT a problem in the dianakalt household. And yet....few of them are interested in saving all year long.

I don't get it. It's not like anyone should be surprised that xmas comes in December....

d

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Author: FuskieFool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Ticker Guide SC1 Red Winner of the 2010 Rule Breakers Challenge Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174463 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 9:53 PM
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No credit cards, no cash, no gifts this year.

Fuskie
Sending free Cirque du Soleil eCards for the holidays...

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Author: windyelliott Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174464 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/7/2003 10:15 PM
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If I do use my card, I will pay it off in January. But at this point in time I don't think I will need it. I am one month away from paying off the last of my credit cards and it has made a huge differnce in my cash flow. I can now skip one month on my debt reduction plan and still have enough to go crazy for Christmas without going into debt.

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Author: CountessEvil Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174473 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/8/2003 12:59 AM
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except for my very first married christmas 7 years ago we have always paid cash for all presents every year.

but then again I paid for those very first christmas presents 7 years ago for about 5 years.

we were stupid, now we're Foolish.

Countess

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Author: llamalluv Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174475 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/8/2003 3:39 AM
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And then, sell that darn Beatles CD on eBay!


I DON'T HAVE IT! That rat butt and his skank wife have it!

They're probably listening to it RIGHT NOW! (Well, not right now, right now....maybe later....It's 1:30 AM and I CAN'T SLEEP!!!!)

I spent $45 on Christmas this year....all cash. (Yeah, I still have bills from last year, but at least I didn't spend $700+!)

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Author: llamalluv Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174476 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/8/2003 4:47 AM
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Well, there's your problem right there: Your taste in music sucks.

It's not my taste that sucks.

I like music that DOESN'T give me nightmares.

The last time I got "Hard Days Night" stuck in my head, I dreamed a golden retriever was attacking me. And I had knitting needles in my hand, so I stabbed out his eyes. Now that d### thing follows me in my dreams, with eyeless bleeding sockets staring at me.

And let's not even mention the times I wake up suffocating, dreaming that I'm stuck in that effing Yellow Submarine, 'kay?

frissy


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Author: bleplatt Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174477 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/8/2003 6:45 AM
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How very on-topic this is for me--because I just bought wrapping (bags) and gifts for 6 people for $51.00. I organized a Silent Auction and wanted to thank the volunteers, but was told by the Executive Director that I could spend only 10 dollars a person. I didn't want to get generic gifts/candles and, because the group works against exploitive labor practices, I did't want to go with traditionally cheap items (eg made in China)

Here's what I did:

I went to the local Heifer Project International store and bought one of a kind presents. All items were made by groups who have organized on thier own and receive the majority of the profits (eg--they are made with non-explotive labor)

-a clay angel for 7.50 (from a group in Guatamalea)
-a set of earrings 8.00 (group in India)
-set of dried, carved, gourd ornaments 4.00 a piece (group in Kenya)
-a dove and a star ornament carved out of soapstone and painted 3.00 a piece (group from Kenya)
-handwoven bag filled with black tea 5.00 a piece (group in india)
-3 cards, decorated with a painted piece of tin that was part of a misprinted sheet from a bottle top making factory 10.00 (group in Kenya)

The volunteers were estatic (sp?) and really impressed with the presents and I was *proud* that I could do such individualized shopping for so little money. It only took me 2 hours (and that's only because I forgot 2 people the first time and had to go back).

For those of you who don't know, Heifer Project International is the group that gives animals (bees, goats, ducks, sheep, cows, water buffalo, llamas, etc) to indigenous people in poor countries. (They also do work in the US). The familes must agree to pass along an animal (or more) when the gift animal has been breed. In this way, entire villages are moved up the economic/self-sufficiency ladder.

Check them out--and no, I'm not affiliated, just impressed.



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Author: GigiBibi One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174478 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/8/2003 7:03 AM
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dh & I WON'T use credit cards during the holidays this year, even if it feels like we need to. I have a very large family, but this year, they're getting little thoughtful presents. We've also cut the "extended family" list down a good bit -- I've invited a few friends to a potluck with a no gifts policy, only the pleasure of your company required. Funny, but they seemed relieved, too. Everybody's so stretched out at Christmas. Why do we feel like we have to spend massive amounts of money on each other once a year to feel loved & appreciated? Oh, wait, would that be the commercialization of all holidays?

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174479 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/8/2003 8:09 AM
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In my case, the bills are being paid in full as they come in, so I won't be facing what this report says. How long does everyone here think it'll take them?


I have always paid for all my Christmas gifts either with cash or in full when the credit card bill arrived, and will do that again this year. I cannot imagine having to pay for months for gift purchases, though I know lots of people who have always done that and can never figure out why they don't have any money.

I learned to do this as part of my budget when my parents were teaching me how to manage money. When I was about 10 or 12, they started me with my own Christmas club, and I would put $2 a week away so that I had cash saved for the holidays to buy presents. Even with my own children, although we have not started a Christmas club, I start talking about Christmas in August as something they need to be saving for, so they have enough saved up by the time Christmas comes to pay for their own shopping, though they only buy 3 gifts each, but it is enough for them to learn.

In fact, my son just blew a big amount on field trip, and I used that as the time to teach him the lesson about planning. I asked him how he then intended to pay for his planned purchases since he had just carelessly spent so much at the arcade, and it was much more a case of him simply not paying attention to the money that was slipping through his fingers. He managed to have saved enough to be able to fund his purchases, but he got the message.

I think as they get older and have more gifts to buy that I will have them start a Christmas club. It does seem like a nice, concrete way for children to learn about budgeting in general, and it would instill some discipline in them for saving.

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Author: reallyalldone Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174480 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/8/2003 8:14 AM
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I asked him how he then intended to pay for his planned purchases since he had just carelessly spent so much at the arcade, and it was much more a case of him simply not paying attention to the money that was slipping through his fingers.

It's a good lesson for anyone. I call it dribbling when I do it and for me it's often, books, magazines and CDs.

I think as they get older and have more gifts to buy that I will have them start a Christmas club. It does seem like a nice, concrete way for children to learn about budgeting in general, and it would instill some discipline in them for saving.

Maybe saving for another goal but I'm guessing your kids are getting the saving message loud and clear.

rad

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Author: exeter17 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174482 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/8/2003 9:20 AM
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We wrapped empty boxes for my sister's kids when they were younger (<5 years old).

Of course, the same kids left the sleds under the tree and slid down the hill on boxes that following year.

Brian

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Author: Catleen Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174483 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/8/2003 10:22 AM
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No, my shopping is done and paid for. I actually lowered the amounts for Christmas shopping this year.

Catleen

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Author: Catleen Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174484 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/8/2003 10:31 AM
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I give to Heifer Project for the last few years. I think I gave some bees and part of an llama (they are so cute) this year. I really admire the job that they do.

Catleen

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Author: WayStar Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174510 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/8/2003 5:15 PM
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Our gifts will be paid off in January, with money set aside for just that purpose. My sis and I agreed to not do gifts, plus I went in with others on single big gift for parents and grandma. Those are already paid for. Just have DH's side of the family now.

-Waylena

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Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174512 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/8/2003 5:50 PM
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Most of my friends seem to be worried about how they are going to save up for xmas gifts/include xmas in the December budget/pay off the xmas bills at the first of the year. They seem stunned when I tell them it's NOT a problem in the dianakalt household. And yet....few of them are interested in saving all year long.

I don't get it. It's not like anyone should be surprised that xmas comes in December....


Hi Diana!

You're not alone. I've got several friends who have said they're just buying the gifts they want to buy and will worry afterwards about getting them paid off. I just don't get this, and part of me wonders if they say this just to make me crazy.

What truly confuses me is that so many people pay little attention to the amount they owe and only concentrate on what the minimum monthly payment will be. It's no wonder, I guess, that these are the people who will be paying off debts for decades.

Of course when you think about how many people buy a car by going to the dealer and saying, "This is what I can afford to pay each month" with no consideration to what they actually end up paying for the car, it's really no different than just being concerned with a monthly minimum payment on a credit card.

I'm glad that I don't swing that way. ;-)

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

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Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174513 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/8/2003 5:52 PM
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I DON'T HAVE IT! That rat butt and his skank wife have it!

They're probably listening to it RIGHT NOW! (Well, not right now, right now....maybe later....It's 1:30 AM and I CAN'T SLEEP!!!!)


Ahhhh, it's a lousy CD anyway. ;-)

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

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Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174516 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/8/2003 6:03 PM
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My sis and I agreed to not do gifts

You're lucky. My wife and I agreed not to exchange this year because there's nothing we need, and if there were, we'd just buy it anyway. Plus, we're spending on an extra vacation in Florida in April, so I suggested we consider that our gift to each other.

But it never fails. I discovered last night she's been buying a few things here and there for me. Yeah right...like I can't have anything for her to open. Arrgh!

My problem is that I never have a clue as to what to get her. She's got more jewelry than she can wear, and I couldn't buy clothes for her if my life depended on it (okay, maybe then I could, but you get the point).

Anyway, last night I'm flipping the channels and I see one of those Lapis Globes on one of the shopping channels that she's really wanted for a long, long time. Those things run in the many hundreds of dollars whenever I've priced them, and this one was $179 with free shipping. It looked really nice. I hope it's as nice when it arrives.

At least she'll have something to open and I won't be in the dog house!

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba



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Author: terminalwriter Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174534 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/9/2003 11:27 AM
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In my case, the bills are being paid in full as they come in, so I won't be facing what this report says. How long does everyone here think it'll take them?

Have you prepared for this year's shopping? Will you be facing many months of bills till you break even? Is this year better for you than in the past?


I've been saving in advance this year for Christmas. But I'm putting most of the stuff on my card for cash back, so it'll take me a month, give or take a few days to pay it off.

Although, I didn't save as much as I would have liked to, so I occasionally get the tempting thought to charge some of Christmas with the rational, "I've done so much better this year."

I keep swatting that thought away!

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Author: terminalwriter Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174535 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/9/2003 11:32 AM
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Well, there's your problem right there: Your taste in music sucks.

It sucks in that she doesn't like the Beatles?

I'll have to agree with you then. Not liking the Beatles sucks!

I need to get a needle for my turntable though, it's been a while since I listened to my mom's albums instead of on CD.

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Author: LostInYonkers Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174536 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/9/2003 11:45 AM
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Have you prepared for this year's shopping? Will you be facing many months of bills till you break even? Is this year better for you than in the past?

DH and I are not getting anyone gifts this year (same as last year). I'm just buying my best friend something, but I'm going to get stuff at my part-time, so there is an employee discount.

No new debt, just the same old debt I've been paying off.

Jenny :)

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Author: terminalwriter Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174537 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/9/2003 11:46 AM
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That was the point of my comment, that I couldn't understand the need some people had to spend huge amounts of money, thinking that it would show how much they cared. Anyone with a small child has seen a kid open a huge box of some important present, then start playing with the open box.

I've got it easy, here went a conversation with my three year old:

Me: Emily Jane, who's coming for Christmas?

EJ: Santa!

Me: And what is Santa going to bring you?

EJ: Presents. (Okay, not as helpful as I hoped, but I can do more.)

Me: What kind of presents?

EJ: Teddy bear!

Woohoo! A teddy bear! That's a piece of cake and I can just see her running up to hug it on Christmas morning. Ah, the years before they discover home electronics and jewlrey...

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Author: terminalwriter Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174541 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/9/2003 12:14 PM
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-Waylena

I saw this and thought, "How did I typo my name that badly?"

Then I realized it wasn't my post.

-Wayland

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Author: InvestorGrrl Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174551 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/9/2003 3:05 PM
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Have you prepared for this year's shopping?
I thought I had. I need to send three more cards out,
and my brother reminded me he'd like a present too. I did
use the holiday club account this year.

Will you be facing many months of bills till you break even?
Probably until January 22, 2004 to pay for the gifts.
Some were on debit; some were on credit; some were in cash.

Is this year better for you than in the past?
Probably. At least I'm close to my target of $400, and
I was lucky to find some deals. Also, my spouse and I have
found we can be delighted with gifts under $100 from each
other.



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Author: mneakrase Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174558 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/9/2003 3:44 PM
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Oh I don't want to think about Christmas yet! We are still waiting for our student loan check to come in.

We've got I think, 3 presents bought. We have like, 10 or so to go. The only good (but sad) thing that's happened is my little sister and her boyfriend broke up, so that's one less present.

One of our yearly financial goals was to save $25 for Christmas each month but that didn't happen.

We do have money for presents for ourselves saved up, other than birthdays this is when we get things. We don't buy books or very many clothes or hobby supplies outside of those two gift giving events.

=) Megan

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Author: Booa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174565 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/9/2003 5:21 PM
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Well, this year it actually depends on whether my DH's paycheck keeps bouncing, sigh. I am hoping that, if his last two checks clear, we will pay all bills when they arrive. If his checks don't clear, I could pay everything off from the efund, but I get a little nervous getting it too low, so I might end up doing some balance transfers just to get a little more time to pay for stuff. So, a month or two at the outside, but it would be to pay for plane tickets, not because of presents (they've been bought and paid for already, with one or two exceptions).

I think next year we're going to stay home for Christmas, that would save us a tone of money. At the very least, we need to travel to one other location, not two. The parents are going to have to see us alternate years, I think, or come visit us. :-)


--Booa

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Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174572 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/9/2003 7:49 PM
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I thought I had. I need to send three more cards out...

Oy! The cards!

I just went to the P.O. yesterday to buy holiday stamps for the cards. Over $30 worth of stamps!

I think it'd be cheaper just to call up each person and say, "Happy Holidays!"

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

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Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174574 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/9/2003 7:51 PM
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I think next year we're going to stay home for Christmas, that would save us a tone of money.

Heehee...

Booa, I think that saving would ring in a very nice tone. ;-)

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

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Author: Booa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174586 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/9/2003 11:35 PM
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I am financially prepared for Christmas. I am not emotionally prepared.

Oh, Debra, I hear you. I would really like to petition to get Thanksgiving moved further away from Christmas. My stress level, bleach. And I get to see my family all crammed into two months, rather than every six months or so...

My shopping is all done, but today I got some, ahem, interesting news: my car needs new shocks and stuff, about $750. I love my mechanic, he was like, "Well, you can drive it for a while like this, you don't have to do it right away, it's a lot of money," and I had to tell him to do it because we're driving to Texas for the first part of the trip, and I've already been stuck in Benson, Arizona because of car trouble, I don't want to repeat that experience. He feels really bad when it's a big thing.

Ah, well. That's why we have efunds and freedom funds, right? Now we just have to work on getting a steady income stream...sigh.


--Booa (channeling Dory from "Finding Nemo", just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...)

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Author: terminalwriter Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174610 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/10/2003 9:11 AM
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I think it'd be cheaper just to call up each person and say, "Happy Holidays!"

And e-mailing everyone an e-card could be even cheaper!

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Author: bleplatt Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174614 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/10/2003 9:54 AM
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--Booa (channeling Dory from "Finding Nemo", just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...)


I chant: this is not my life, this is not my life.

Sometimes it helps.

:)

b

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Author: cyberisme Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174639 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/10/2003 2:37 PM
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Have you prepared for this year's shopping? Will you be facing many months of bills till you break even? Is this year better for you than in the past?

We spent more this year than we've ever spent on Christmas and we have no credit card debt (and didn't go into any other debt for it).

It's a great Christmas for us.

C.

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Author: Booa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174643 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/10/2003 2:59 PM
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Tones and tones of money, now doesn't that sound like music to your ears? :-)

Should have known you'd catch that, Tone-y. :-)


--Booa



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Author: Booa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174646 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/10/2003 3:12 PM
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I chant: this is not my life, this is not my life.

Sometimes it helps.


Right after having my son, I would often chant, "I want my life back, I want my life back." :-) Ah, well, the memory of being able to go out without arranging for babysitting first is slowly fading...;-)


--Booa

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Author: terminalwriter Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174650 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/10/2003 3:31 PM
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Tones and tones of money, now doesn't that sound like music to your ears? :-)

Which has just inspired me, to be sung to the tune of "Winter Wonderland"

Coinage rings
Are you paying
To the debt
For Intrest saving
A beautiful thought
To pay it all off
Working towards a debt free wonderland


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Author: JustGeorge Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 174663 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/10/2003 5:46 PM
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We did not put anything on charge cards for Xmas. However we did spend close to 4k on a new bedroom set that we paid for using our HELOC at 4% currently.It's the only debt we have besides our mortgage and we are paying it back at 150.00 a month. I figure we should have it paid for in less than three years.Last year we got back about 2,500 from taxes and whatever kind of refund we get will also go towards paying it down.

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Author: DizChick Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 175563 of 308782
Subject: Re: How Long Will it Take You? Date: 12/28/2003 5:13 PM
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A news report today said that the average consumer will take about six months to pay off the credit cards they're using for this year's holiday shopping. I think that's very troubling, though not surprising. I can't imagine spending on gifts and then having to face the next 1/2 year to pay for them (not to mention all the mounting interest).

In my case, the bills are being paid in full as they come in, so I won't be facing what this report says. How long does everyone here think it'll take them?

Have you prepared for this year's shopping? Will you be facing many months of bills till you break even? Is this year better for you than in the past?


Hey Tony, great question! DH and I have put Xmas on the CC's in our pre-Foolish days.

This year, we are using credit cards as payment at time of checkout (for the rewards, and the added security over debit cards - we prefer not to carry a lot of cash). These holiday charges are then paid off of the card at least weekly by online payments. We don't bother waiting for the bill to arrive. The credit card we have been using for most purchases allows up to one payment online per day, so after a larger day of shopping, I paid the purchases off that same day. We're not waiting to get the bill before paying because we don't want to accidentally spend that money before the bill arrives.

So, in answer to your question, we're paying off Christmas purchases immediately (Foolishly). :-)

DizChick

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