The goal of debt free living is attainable for people of all ages. No matter what your income, no matter what level of debt you may have, with a little elbow grease and a huge commitment to change, you could be on your way to a debt free lifestyle in no time.
Of course anything worth having takes hard work. Consider the stress in your life. For most Americans, money is a primary concern and the stress associated, will affect all aspects of their world; health, relationships, and freedom just to name a few. Being in debt is the same as slavery, you are forced to work to generate the income to pay for purchases that often have long been discarded or exhausted. I realize that we have been trained to expect to live with debt. Some purchases would be very difficult to make without credit such as a home, but working to eliminate debt one bill at a time will free up your money to work toward debt repayment at a graduated rate.
An amazing benefit of working toward a debt free lifestyle is that once the bills begin to disappear, you will be very surprised at how quickly your wealth begins to grow. You have a choice. Continue to use credit cards and pay out interest to the banks and credit card companies or eliminate the debt and begin to invest your money for your future. Who would you rather make rich? Personally, I would prefer that my money be working for myself and my family. Eliminating debt is the only way to begin to build wealth.
Changing the way you think about debt will take time and retraining. Making a purchase should become a conscious process. Assessment of need, determination of the best avenue to purchase, and a clear decision of where the money will come from and how long it will take to save it are all a steps that should be taken in the buying process. Forcing yourself to make purchases with cash only will create a sense of concern as you will be painfully aware that money is a limited commodity and your hard work is what is bringing about the ability to buy whatever it is you desire.
I am proud to say that I have lived without a credit card for almost two years now. I was concerned that I would not be able to make a reservation, rent a car or have the freedom to do what I needed, but to my surprise, I have functioned perfectly fine without a credit card. I was only slightly bothered by the reaction of the car rental company that I recently dealt with. I called to reserve a vehicle, of course they need a guarantee to ensure that I would take the car, when I gave them my debit card number, they had to ask the manager how to complete the transaction. He asked me, slightly irritated, “Can’t you put it on your credit card?” I smiled and told him that I did not use credit cards. He sighed and sought assistance for the transaction. He actually gave me the impression that he thought lesser of me because I didn’t have a credit card. Slave! The day that my ability to whip out a piece of plastic defines my self-worth, well, you get the picture.
Changing the way you think about debt is important and in order to do so, you need to change your thoughts about money. I am as guilty as the next person for convenience purchases. For instance, I work for a company that has an early start time. Being a busy mom with goals and aspirations, I often find myself cutting into my sleep time to accomplish tasks. When I get up in the morning I have done everything I could to allow myself an extra few minutes of pillow time, so nearly every day I stop at the local gas station, buying that premium cup of go juice and while I am there, doesn’t a pop sound good for later?
Consider the fact that my average purchase is $5.00. Do the math, 5 days a week is $25.00 by 52 weeks a year is over a $1,000 a year in my morning convenience. I am embarrassed to consider that I work for more than one week a year just to buy that coffee. If I would just make the effort to get up a little earlier and make my coffee at home, look at what one simple, non-invasive change could net me in savings. I am challenging you to look at each purchase you make, big or small, as time. For example, while driving home you hear an advertisement for a cool new cell phone. It has all of the newest technology. Your cell phone does the job but it would be really cool to be able to download music and play it on your phone. Lets put a price of $300.00 on it. Now lets say that you make $10.00 an hour. After taxes and all other expenses you probably take home close to $7.00 an hour. The price of the phone will cost you over 40 hours of work to pay for it. The cost only goes up when you charge it on a credit card. The compounding interest could cost you an additional hour for every month that goes by with the balance outstanding. Is it really worth it?
I think you are already well on your way to making the changes necessary to improve your financial position and your life. You wouldn’t be reading this article if you didn’t have the seed of desire to make a change growing. Work to get out of debt, commit to change the way you think, cut up the credit cards, stop creditors from calling, and ultimately free yourself of the slavery and you will reap rewards for years to come. Congratulations on your first steps towards a life you and your family deserve.
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