Once the holidays are out of here, it will be time to pay the piper

While Christmas has come and gone, the holidays are not yet over.
Hors d’oeuvres and alcohol still are gurgling everywhere.
Folks still are plunging their fists into ice buckets of champagne and fresh shrimp.
Granted, this holiday season we are all partying while we whistle past the graveyard.
The piranhas of a recession-about-to-be-a-depression and a credit market tighter than our pants after Christmas dinner are assembled in a sullen squadron ready to gobble us all once we return to reality on January 2nd.
Once upon a time we worried about ray guns and the Russians. Now we worry about starving to death.
Unfortunately, there is no antibiotic for poverty. Well, there is one — government bailouts. But Uncle Sam won’t be putting you or me on the dole. The only thing the feds do for us is make the IRS an equal partner of ours.
But there are some things we can do to prevent ourselves from drowning in this economic maelstrom.
* Use debit cards and cash until you have eliminated your credit card debt.
* Don’t pay penalties. Make sure you pay at least the minimum on every card each month on time.
*Pay at least the minimum using one of two strategies: Pay off the card with the highest interest first. You’ll pay less in the long run. Or, pay off the card with the lowest balance first. That will give you a rich feeling of satisfaction.
* Sign a $180 million contract with the New York Yankees.