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Money: 3 Things

GIFTS: Be different. Be practical. Buy the gift that will keep on giving long after most other gifts have been tossed in the trash or in storage. Buy STOCKS or BONDS. I don't know of any kid who needs another toy. Most adults don't like the gifts people give them, and find it stressful trying to think of what gift to buy for someone else. So buy your loved ones some very-low-risk shares of stock from a very reputable stock fund. That's what I do for my grandchildren. I may buy them something else or not. They really don't seem to care. And think about the parents of the kids for whom you're buying the toys. Where are they going to store the stuff? Hey, give everybody a break and buy your little one some stocks or bonds. Years from now, they will be very appreciative. Buy your older adult friends a gift card from their favorite restaurant.

Interest: Compound Interest/Simple Interest/Finance Charge: Compound Interest is when a bank pays you money based on the amount of your deposit AND on the interest you have earned on that deposit. It's different than Simple Interest, which is when the bank pays you interest only on the amount of money you have deposited. If you are paying the interest instead of receiving the interest, like on a mortgage, credit card or other loan (aka Finance Charge), then you want to pay simple interest. If you're receiving the interest, you want compound interest. Pay off your credit card every month to keep your bank from charging you interest (finance charge) on the balance. You don't want to pay more for your purchases than you have to.

Coupons: Some retailers are known for sending out coupons. 20% off, 10% off, 15% off plus free shipping. Sounds like a bargain, but it's not if you really don't need it. You may enjoy the item for a little while, and then try to find a place to store it. Too often, people buy stuff they don't really want or need just because it's a good deal. Have you ever gone to a discount store and end up spending way more than you intended? When you get home you're surprised you've been duped again. If you really need it, use the coupon and buy it. If not, save your money. Buy stuff at the end of the season when retailers are really trying to get rid of inventory. Next time you get an impulse to buy just because something sounds like a great deal, because you got a great coupon, or because you're bored and you deserve a gift, STOP. Calculate how much money your would have spent, and put it aside in your IMPULSE ACCOUNT. Then go online and search for better ways to use that money. A vacation, upgrading your kitchen or paying off debt. Fantasize until the urge goes away. Then watch your IMPULSE ACCOUNT grow. You'll be proud of yourself.

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