BOSTON (CBS) – Halloween tricks or treats come along only once a year, but the consequences of financial decisions we make usually last far past the next Halloween. Options that seem good on the surface, if not handled properly, can have long-lasting negative consequences.

To understand how a seemingly good financial move can work against you, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) sent out some tips to encourage consumers to review their actions to see if they would result in a welcome financial treat or a trick to be avoided.

I thought the ideas were good ones but I might answer them a wee bit differently or add something to them. With some editing on my part we will look at the best of the list this week for the trick or treat theme is appropriate for Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day. A scary stat is that the average credit card debt for those consumers who carry a balance is almost $16,000.

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) is the organization I recommend to listeners whenever they tell me they need help with credit card debt. It has many local member agencies that it can recommend. You can link directly to them from our website here at CBS radio.

Let’s start with one issue many listeners have asked about..

  • Discontinuing The Use Of Credit
  • Treat:  Living on a cash basis means that you never overspend or pay interest on your purchases.  Typically, people who pay with cash save 20% over those who charge their goods and services.
  • Trick:  At some point in your life, most people will need access to credit. Consumers will be well served by creating a thick and positive credit file.  To do so, it is necessary to have at least three open and active lines of credit.
  • Dee: All that is very true, but you need to learn to manage your credit and pay off your credit cards every month. And some of your everyday money transactions will require a credit card. Renting a DVD, shopping online, renting a car, reserving a hotel room, qualifying for a loan. Most of us will need to borrow at some point in our lives for we cannot save enough money for a house, car, business start-up or a college education.


The NFCC further states, “Consumers should thoroughly research and fully understand the risks and benefits to any financial decision. Simply because an offer sounds appealing, doesn’t mean it is.”

Remember there are pros and cons to every financial decision we make!


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