According to an article in the Star-Telegram, as more business face the possibility of bankruptcy because of falling revenue, retailers around the country are following the marketing trend created by the federal government–“cash for clunkers” type sales gimmicks are being offered for just about any type of product you can imagine.
The article said:
“Cash for Clunkers program, offering trade-in deals on furniture, computers, appliances, hearing aids and just about every other item that can be sold…Their motivation is simple: the possibility of big sales in short order. Cash for Clunkers generated about 700,000 new-car sales during its run from July 27 to Aug. 24.”
Although the cash for clunkers program generated 700,000 in new car sales, two things have now happened, hundreds of thousands of Americans now have new debt that may become just the thing that sends them into bankruptcy in a “straw that broke the camel’s back” type scenario; and two, many car dealerships and car makers are still struggling after the end of the program. As each of you move forward to create a sustainable budget that will help you avoid bankruptcy or recover after a bankruptcy filing, keep in mind that financial health is something that is achieved over the long-term. Unfortunately, cash for clunkers type programs can put already struggling individuals and families onto a path of more debt and overspending. For example, a few months back we announced a new program that asked consumers to “turn in” their old refrigerators for a new “energy efficient” one, however, many people don’t have $1000 to pay for a new refrigerator so they end up putting it on their credit card. That’s a mistake. One credit card charge too many can become just another step towards bankruptcy if you are not careful. This is especially true if you don’t have a clear and realistic plan for repaying those charges (plus the interest). Please think twice before trading-in any working product for a “new and improved” one that will simply put you back in or deeper into debt.