House of Cards

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You know when you vow not to spend any more money because you have a feeling you’re over budget and the month’s credit card bill hasn’t yet arrived?

But then, you get an email about a sample sale from Cynthia Vincent, Ella Moss, Steven Alan, your favorite designer, and simply MUST buy that trench coat with plaid lining? or those platform slingback metallic shoes? Or that bag? Those earrings?

Yeah, me too.

In these “tough economic times,” you’d think the retailers and clothiers and shops would try to make it a little easier on us consumers to hold onto our money. But, au contraire, every other day a newsletter screaming “SALE! 75 percent off ALL MERCHANDISE!” hits my inbox. Buy one get one free, no sales tax, half off last year’s stock, half of NEXT year’s stock. I cannot resist.

So I find myself in a very common place for many Americans: I am worrying about money. Yes, I still have a roof over my head. But my roommates moved out, so we’ve been covering the cost of an empty room for two months now, and that’s not fun. The renters in our price bracket are not eager to sign a year lease, not knowing how solid their employment situation is. And I don’t blame them. But, here we sit, with increasing bills, and not increasing income.

I vow not to spend any more money this month except on the ESSENTIALS. And then I leave my house. I’m hungry, my car runs out of gas, my gym membership is automatically taken out of my account, the cable bill arrives, my car registration needs to be renewed, it’s my sister’s birthday and I need to get her a present. Oh boy.

It’s a slippery slope. I analogized to one would-be renter: in this economy, everyone’s financial situation is like a house of cards. Some of our houses have more reinforcement than others, thicker cards, maybe some scotch tape. But removing one strategic card, whether it’s losing a job, getting ill, having a roommate move out, losing value in an IRA or retirement account, can cause the house to topple quickly.

Save your money while you can, folks. That Suze Orman is rich for a reason. She follows her own advice.

Originally published on BlogTalkRadio


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