santa's credit card
Once again, we have arrived at that time of the year when retailers hope to make up for a slump in sales of previous months via enthusiastic shoppers, those who throw caution to the wind purchasing more than usual on credit to keep up with holiday-season expectations. Tradition demands it. While you may receive lovely gifts from your friends and family, have you ever considered that your gifts were probably paid for with a credit card that put the giver deeper in debt?

I didn't think so. You'd likely respond by saying, "I have no idea how my friends and family pay for things. That's their business, not mine."

True, but if you think of your own situation, or know as I do from my work with clients, too many people nowadays need credit just to make ends meet every month. See what I mean? How is it possible for holiday gifts paid for by credit to be an expression of caring one to another when real-time hard evidence all around us reveals the ways a downward-debt spiral destroys mental, physical and emotional health, and family wellness? I just don't get it.

I reference Christmas-shopping fever as the "poster child" for the kind of mindless consumption that leaves people hopelessly unprepared for the increased repayment amounts that will be required of them. Generations of holiday-season assumptions and expectations drive spending habits at this time of year. Back in the day when we were not so dependent on credit, it was a different story. But now, in an entirely different economic landscape, (of a debt-based monetary system near the end of its useful life), to meet such expectations is frightfully often at the expense of our own and others' mental and emotional health.

What if, on the other hand, the headache-level social pressures of the holiday season are what finally spur you on to change horses in midstream? You decide that now is the time to experiment with sharing the love by throwing a holiday celebration that does not break your budget or your spirit. You resolve to take the risk and go for it!

Just imagine: Homemade gifts, homemade food, verbal expressions of love and appreciation, time together doing something wonderful and affordable, helping each in some needed way, etc. Instead of having a terrible January afraid to open what the mailman delivers, have January be the month of taking the next steps to further your determination to live and thrive within your means, unfolding your wealth-building strategies you've had the time to plan.

You may rightly perceive a gun to your head from those who expect you to give this or that, but ultimately, the choice is yours. If you opt for what you consider to be most life supportive all the way around, you just might end up as the catalyst that helps your loved ones to follow your example and learn to do the same. As it has been said, "Just do it!" Season greetings to you for the wealth of love, happy relations, health, contentment, less debt, more cash flow, and achievable goals.

Susan Boskey is author of the book, The Quality Life Plan: 7 Steps to Uncommon Financial Security. After exposing the bottom-line of why more and more families need credit each month just to make ends meet, Susan provides game-changing practical strategies, tactics and templates to help you create a life of greater ease. You can reverse the downward trend of credit and debt while learning how to establish a long-term, debt-free lifestyle; a life that allows you to build both financial wealth and the wealth of well-being midst the challenges of today's economic landscape. To learn more or to purchase the book, please visit her website at