After cutting back on Christmas spending a year ago, many consumers plan to buy more presents this year. Rachel Cruze, the daughter of Dave Ramsey, encourages them to enjoy the season but not get carried away. And have a budget.
“So while it’s the giving season, which is beautiful, it can get tangled up with this idea that we play into other people’s expectations of what Christmas is, and so much so that we put ourselves in a financial hole and go into debt for it,” she said.
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Cruze, 34, reminds people to budget for what they plan to spend on each person and include other expenses associated with the holiday meal and gatherings, including the cost of paper plates and plastic utensils. Parents should communicate with each other and their children about what their expectations should be based on budgeting constraints caused by the loss of income or because parents are working to reduce spending so they can pay off debt or save money for a rainy day fund.
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Some parents under the pressure of their family’s expectations and sometimes resort to taking out a payday loan.
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“It’s a bad idea,” Cruze said. “So remember, not only are you going into debt for something that no one is going to remember in four months. But also, you look at the math on the interest rates, fees and everything attached to that type of industry. It’s disgusting. It’s terrible what they charge people when it comes to payday loans or even online loans. I just heard a story this morning about a 110 percent interest loan that a guy took out, and they just feed on people’s desperation.”
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Christmas should be about freedom, including financially.
“The one word we use around here frequently is freedom,” she said. “A level of freedom comes with avoiding debt, and being in debt mathematically takes a financial toll. But also, there’s a spiritual, emotional toll that it takes when you owe someone. And the moment you become free, you know, in Proverbs, it says the borrower is a slave to the lender.”
Cruze, whose life work is helping others break free from the bondage of debt, also wants people to find true freedom and everlasting peace in the salvation that comes only through faith in Jesus Christ.
–Anita Widaman | Metro Voice