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Archive for January, 2010

The Key to Becoming Debt Free.

January 5th, 2010 at 09:50 pm

Contentment. That will pretty much lead you to achieve debt-freedom! One simple word, yet so hard to master! Allow me to get on my soap box for a moment (I guess that's what blogs are for, huh?)

The only way to get out of debt is to pay it off. You need money (cash) to do this (and you are totally capable of doing this on your own - please do not look to debt consolidation companies to solve your problems). To get more money, you need to increase your income which can be done in 2 ways: increase your inflow of cash or decrease your expenses. The 1st option is self explanatory - you can get another job, sell a few items, win the lottery, etc... And although it's not rocket science, it is so hard for us to follow through with the latter option. Why? Because of the lack of contentment in our lives (I'm included)!! In order to decrease our expenses, we need to get rid of the waste in our life. Do we really need so many TV channels (or cable, for that matter), to eat out so much, more clothes?!? What about your car? How much of that is eating up your monthly budget??

If you're like me, you probably started this journey with plenty of credit cards - clothing stores, electronic stores, you name it. Again, the key is contentment. Once you pay off a credit card, DO NOT get another or pile debt back on the card! You will only get out of debt by never charging another purchase! And this is only possible if you're content with what you have!!

So, about that soap box...I work in the retail industry; however, if you pulled up to my office building, you'd think we were an undercover law firm to the Stars! Luxury cars and SUV's are lined up and down our parking lot. Do I have a problem with luxury vehicles? Of course, not!! But I do have a problem with the money complaints that I hear at work - one in particular I've heard several times from a few child-bearing-aged ladies. Our company does not provide maternity leave (another discussion for another time), but b/c of the lack of money, these ladies are going to postpone their pregnancies. You have got to be kidding me?!?!! But, they are serious.

Eating out daily, buying new outfits, cars, getting a 2nd mortgage when the 1st isn't paid off...oh, and wedding rings (the expensive ones, of course) - I hear these conversations daily, and I cringe! No one can sustain when they're always wanting, wanting, wanting. There's no peace - it puts you in a constant, downward spiral. The only way to become free is to break loose from these chains (and this is bondage - it may appear delightful from the outside but managing maxed-out debt is an emotional nightmare)!

So, how do you become content? The easiest way for me to stay content is the constant reminder of the effects that debt has made on people (which keeps me motivated to stick with my journey to debt freedom). How many families do you know who are living paycheck to paycheck? Dave Ramsey says 70%. And how many of your friends (and their parents, for that matter) are still paying off their student loans? Um, just about all of mine! No one wants to live like this, but we've been convinced that this is the norm. We accept defeat, and begin to charge like crazy since we'll never see the day our debt drops to zero!

So, now that I no longer accumulate debt, I'm looked at as a bit "unique" (the word they're really thinking is "weird"). I don't eat out every day for lunch - can't afford to. And despite what my very own boss would like, I'm not going to go out and buy a Range Rover now that I've paid off my car!! At present day, I look like the odd ball - like the one who doesn't have it together b/c I don't drive a lux vehicle or wear designer clothes! 10 years from that (make that 2), I'm sure I'll be the only one who will work only because I want to!!

We only have a short amount of time on this earth. Why would we want to be in bondage for the majority of it???

And sorry for the rant...