Monday, March 14, 2011

And Forgive Us Our Debts

My wife and I have sucessfully paid off all of our credit cards....major and store cards...It was part of our initiative for the new year. Kind of sort of like a resolution, but a little different. It was more of a goal.

Carrying a big debt of any kind can be psychologically burdensome. It can cause a lot of sleepless nights so after doing much research..I've come up with some ways that some of you might want to kill your debt creatively.

1.First off, Find yourself a better credit card, with a lower rate. Make a list of how awful you felt about being in debt with your previous cards on the outside of an envelope. Place your credit cards inside the envelope and seal it. When you're tempted to charge something you can't afford, you'll read your own words about how debt affected you -- and decide to stick to your spending limit. I know it's crazy,but it's working for me...Go with me on that.

2.A little help from your peeps! Involve your closest partners or friends. Sometimes you need the support of loved ones who know what you're trying to achieve and have your best interests in mind. Keep in mind that you'll want people who inspire you, not depress you or other wise get on your freakin nerves. Make sure you choose those with positive attitudes. (Not folks who just want to know your business and gossip.)

3.Employ Facebook or Twitter. Employ these social networks to publicly declare your new financial goals. Making a public, online announcement can make all the difference in maintaining a financially healthy life.You've put yourself out there and this can piggyback off of number two...It'll get your true friends involved.
Use your social networks to declare your goals, ask for accountability and gather the support and knowledge you need to get there. There are other people in your social circles who share your desire to stay debt-free and are just waiting for a reason to commit. Then you can all do it together.

4.Lighten your load by broadening your budget. Broaden your budget. A perpetually tight financial belt is a problem, so loosen it up a notch before you rip it off. The Money Mess personal finance blogger Christopher Scully stresses the importance of constantly refining and revising a cash-flow plan. If a budget isn't elastic, you'll eventually stray. "Build in achievable goals, then rework your budget to include saving for it," says Scully. "Allot some sort of reward money for hitting monthly milestones on the way." By doing so, you'll prepare for long-term objectives while having enough funds to satisfy your desire for spending liberty. (Yeah,I know,surprised by the stuff I read, aren't you?)

5.Reduce Temptation... This was my problem...Listen, if access to an abundance of credit is overly seductive, cut it down. I once had 13 credit cards...Yeah 13, Visa,Mastercard, American Express...Today...I have two major cards and three store cards that I hardly ever use.

6.Take the highest ugliest bill you have and frame it...Pay your lower bills off first and then work on that high one, that ugly one...The more you chip off of that,the better you begin to feel..This is what I did.

7.Refine Your Value system baby! -If you really want to stay on budget you had better find out what it is that really makes you happy! Take the time to really think about what you want and why you just have to have it ,or why you really want it!You'll be much happier spending money and be less likely to blow it on impulsive purchases or trying to keep up with the Joneses. Listen to the old Temptations song of the same name...There is a lot of wisdom to be found there.

Finally Save your old debt can offset the budget blues by doing something smart with the cash you had been sending your creditors.

Once you get rid of revolving credit card debt, take the money you were previously using to pay off debt each month and put it toward building up emergency savings. "Mad Money" as my mother used to say...Actually it's just money for that rainy day. Having extra cash socked away for unexpected expenses is one of the most effective ways to stay out of debt.

It's just like going on a diet.Once you've achieved your desired weight, you've got to keep the momentum going, you can't start eating all of the food that made you fat in the first place or you'll undo all that hard work. So the final tip: Enjoy your success so much that you refuse to let those balances edge up again.

A Public service announcement from the Maverick of All Bloggers.


Yvonne Anderson said...

Very informative piece as usual Keith!

James Perkins said...

You are hitting your stride now brother, you're writing some really good stuff!

Sunflower said...

Creative advice in the way that only YOU can give it...LOL!

Brenda said...

I have to piggy back on what Sunflower was saying...Only you Keith!

Cheryl said...

Very informative Keith, I may try some of these!

Sean said...

You're still writing the good stuff Keith...Really liked this post!

Toni said...

Good Post Keith!

Angie B. said...

Crazy as this post was...I might be inclined to try some of your advice!


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