Back to Normal?

credit card debtBy Irene Conlan –

Yesterday I had the wild thought that now things can settle down to “normal” —whatever that is. We made our way through all the hype at Halloween—candy, costumes and haunted houses— and ate our way through  Thanksgiving. Christmas ornaments and talk about boosting the economy with our holiday spending started before the goblins and ghosts put their costumes away and we polished off the last piece of cheap candy. But we made it through Christmas and New Year’s eve, many with every credit card maxed out, wondering how they would ever pay for all that “stuff.”

Yesterday was inauguration and MLK day and I had the wild thought that we would be free from all the media hype for a while.

But I was wrong.

Yesterday, in the midst of the celebrations for President Obama and Martin Luther King, the ads and talk show conversation was about Valentine’s Day and the Superbowl.

The message is buy, buy, buy and spend, spend, spend. (Is the only way to show love these days to buy expensive gifts? Think about it? What happened to kindness and tenderness?)

On one side we have the government telling us to save but pay more taxes. On the other side we having everyone telling us that we absolutely must have whatever it is that they’re selling. Both sides have big price tags attached.

My e-mail overflows with messages of closeout sales, 50% off sales, and going out of business sales. I don’t read them anymore. They fall victim to the delete key.

How much “stuff” do we really need?

I encourage you to consider regaining (or maybe gaining for the first time) balance in your life. Have a family meeting to talk about how you can get your finances, schedules, eating, etc. under control and back into some type of equilibrium. Take a good look at each other. On a scale of 1 – 10  how “frazzled” are you? How concerned are you about all that debt?

One way to stop the hype at your house is to turn off the TV and don’t surf the Net for more “stuff.”

Hmmmm. I like that idea. Where’s the remote?



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