Debt is a four letter word we can all live without! Yet we don’t. Instead we seem to thrive on it. Over 40% of us spend more than we earn each year. Debt is emotionally draining and financially devastating, limiting our ability to save for the future. Mindless spending creates overwhelming financial difficulties.
Is should be simple to live without debt. All we have to do is spend less than we make. Now there’s a concept! The number one reason that most of us are in a financial bind is our spending habits. Apparently the word “no” has disappeared from our vocabulary. If we want it, we buy it. Why save the money to pay cash for it, when we can whip out the credit card and have instant gratification?
Credit cards should be considered the root of all evil! Using credit cards makes it seem like you are not using real money. Once you get a balance on one it is hard to get it paid off. If your credit card balance is $8,000, and you make the minimum monthly payment at 18% interest, it will take you 25 years, 7 months to pay the debt off. The total amount of your payments will be $23,432.
How do you know if you are in financial trouble? If you can only afford to make minimum payments on your credit cards and worry about finding the money to make all your other monthly payments then it’s time to get serious about getting your debts under control.
What can you do? The first step is to stop acquiring new debt. Set a budget and use cash for all of your purchases. Cut up your credit cards or at least hide them from yourself! Using credit cards leads to impulse spending and overspending. End your love affair with credit. Use a debit card instead. A debit card is like cash so it will keep you from overspending. If the money is not in your bank account you won’t be able to use your debit card. This will stop impulse spending and require you to stick to a budget.
It usually takes longer to get out of debt than it did to get in debt. Take a long hard look at your financial situation and get determined to do something about it. Don’t get discouraged. Develop a strategy to eliminate debt and stick with it.