Many are saying global economic events mean that stock market investors had little to be thankful for during this opening to the official holiday season.
According to CNN Money, “The holiday season has officially arrived, but whether investors will have much to be jolly about next week is uncertain, as Europe's debt woes continue to weigh on the market. Pessimism and optimism over Europe's debt crisis have been whipsawing stocks for months, and investors will likely continue to react to headline after headline, keeping the market's roller coaster in high gear. ‘We'll probably see more fear, carnage and uncertainty,’ said Ethan Anderson, senior portfolio manager at Rehmann Financial. ‘Investors are seeing the headlines and reacting emotionally. The common response is to jump out of the market.’”
While many beleaguered borrowers may say “so what?” to stock market woes, when fewer and fewer Americans have any spare savings to invest, what’s clear is that investor fear means financial ripple effects for the rest of the nation. This means potential negative impacts for the housing market, construction spending, manufacturing activity and even consumer confidence moving into 2012.
And while economic data is getting better in the U.S., even in the job market, as we’ve seen in the years since the official economic recovery, any fledgling improvement in the American economy could be overshadowed by bad news out of Europe. And while economists expect the economy added 118,000 jobs in November, the unemployment rate held steady at 9.0% with all-new workers clamoring for the same old jobs.
So, while Europe weighs on domestic markets here at home, the holiday season may be the perfect time for some timely tips for “taking stock” of your financial futures:
Don’t be all about the “Bah Humbug”
Whether it was poor planning or an unexpected emergency that busted your budget, feeling guilty is futile. What’s more important now is realizing that there’s a problem, assessing your options and getting back to the healthy financial habits that will lead you out of this mess and back in the money.
Watch that Seasonal Spending
More often than not, if you’re reading this, you have a credit card (or many), you’re in credit card debt (or maybe over your limits), and, as hard as you try to pay them off, you can’t (either because your balances outspent your savings or you used other cards to transfer balances that ultimately only added to the problem). Stop the cycle by avoiding the holiday spending spree on your plastic. And if you need to pay for something online, use your debit card. This, and only this, will lead you back on the road to better buying choices.
Ask Santa for Your Credit Reports.
Knowing and understanding your credit score can be your best first step to understanding where you stand and how you can make it better. Ordering reports for the “Big Three” reporting agencies is as easy as going online: Equifax (Equifax.com); Experian (experian.com); and TransUnion (transunion.com).
Make a Resolution to Begin With A Budget.
In the New Year, the first step to creating a better budget is accounting for everything you buy. Put pen to paper and keep track of your monthly expenditures, from coffee to car payments. Like keeping track of your daily food intake on a diet, when you write down your expenses (keeping in mind what it costs and how hard you have to work to get it), you’re more likely to watch what you buy and make better use of what you have.
Start Your New Year Off Right By Knowing Your Options
If you, or someone you know, is in debt and wants to learn more about alternatives, the bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.