Dear Readers: We’re always looking to save money, but the holiday season can be especially tough. We want the best for our families, but how can we give without breaking the bank?
We face a lot of pressure: TV commercials tell us to spend, spend, spend; children and adults want what they want; if someone gives you a gift, you feel obligated to return the favor. Just hold the phone. Before you spend anything, sit down, take a close look at your finances, and set a budget. This will protect you from overspending. And consider starting a savings plan for the next year.
Giving a gift doesn’t automatically mean paying out money, anyway. A batch of homemade cookies makes a delicious, thoughtful, and inexpensive gift. Include the recipe.
In the office, a Secret Santa gift exchange works well – set a limit of, say, $ 20. You may have accumulated discount points on your credit card; use them now.
And like children, your time may be the best gift you can give. – Heloise
TECH TALK TUESDAY – CUPBOARD CULTURE
Dear Héloïse: I record and publish videos online, and I discovered that the sound quality is better in my closet, and I can also have privacy! – Brayden D. by e-mail
WHAT IS THAT
Dear Héloïse: What is a credit report? Is it important to have good credit? – Jamie M., 14, Dallas
Jamie, It’s good to know that you are thinking about your future financial health! Your credit report is important “report card” all sorts.
It tells about your borrowing and repayment history. A good credit history can get you better interest rates (the money banks charge you for borrowing) when you’re ready to buy a home, car, or other major purchase.
Information on your credit report may include: your name, current and previous addresses, date of birth, and social security number.
In addition, it lists all the credit accounts you have opened and their types: home loan (mortgage), installment loans and revolving credit (credit cards), and student loans, along with your payment history, how much you owe. (the balance), the credit limit, the name of the business to which you owe money, and how long you have had credit. If you owe child support, this can also show up on a credit report.
It’s important to keep your credit report as clean as possible, to pay off your debts on a timely basis, and to check your credit report for any errors. – Heloise
PS Potential employers can also check your credit report, although this trend has fallen out of favor lately.
CLASSIC HÉLOISE TIP – FINISH YOURSELF!
Dear Readers: One of my favorite classic tips is cool again, because it’s durable! And that clue is: wrap little gifts in sheet music, old colorful road maps, old letters, and Sunday comics.
Reuse and reuse of these papers will save paper, money and trees! – Heloise
NOW IT’S TACKY
Dear Héloïse: It’s important to let the eyelash glue (and all the adhesives, really) blow off for a few seconds and get a little sticky. Grip improves, in my experience. – Amy R. in Pennsylvania
Send a hint to save money or time to Heloise, PO Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise @ Heloise. com. I cannot respond to your letter personally, but I will use the best clues I have received in my column.