Here’s a new years resolution for you… “Pay it off!” Listen, today’s economy for most folks is really quite dire, but there is a way to drastically reduce its effects, and that is to live debt free.
I know many people, and I’m sure you do too – and maybe you are one of them 😉 that often complain that they have no money to do this or that; they often complain about their jobs and their life in general. Sure, some people are just complainers, but there may be hope for them (or you).
Here’s the thing… You can completely change your life outlook and can go from being very insecure about your finances and your life to being motivated, happier, and feeling much more secure and fulfilled about your life, your job, your situation.
Here’s how… Make a goal to become debt free. Not only that, but BELIEVE IT!
If you do those two things, you will immediately get a flutter in your stomach and will instantly become a new person.
Even though you know that it will take time and sacrifice to get there, the process of getting there will be an inspiring one and will liberate you from that feeling of being shackled with financial doom.
Let’s step back a minute first though. You may ask, “Why or How will being debt free really change my life?”
Answer: You will build and have a tremendous amount of extra cash to do with what you want, once the process is complete. Your net worth will begin to grow positive rather than negative. You will ‘feel’ free because you’ve escaped the clutches of the system that is designed to keep us all in debt. You will be in control of your own life instead of being beholden to your debtors. There is no other feeling or reality like it…
Okay, here are a few helpful pointers to get you started, and they may seem painfully obvious, but it WORKS!
You may be in the habit of ‘automatically’ paying things with your credit card, even if ‘you have the money’. STOP! Remove your credit cards from your purses and wallets.
For EVERYTHING that you go to purchase… STOP, and think about it. Do you really NEED it? Often you do not. Is there a less expensive alternative to what you are about to purchase? There usually is, and it may be from a different store than you normally visit.
Stop going to stores to ‘shop’. It’s like an alcoholic going into a bar or a gambler going to Las Vegas. Don’t do it.
A very large expense is often the food that we eat during a given week or month. Stop going out to eat. If you must, then choose a lesser expensive alternative to your outing. Avoid the appetizers and alcoholic beverages – where they have big markups in price.
Cook more of your own food. If you already do that, then look at what you’re eating and consider less expensive alternatives. Stop buying all name brands and Start buying store brands for amazing savings.
Most all of us have WAY more clothes than what we need. Control your urge to buy more. Instead of buying at Macy’s (random example), why not Target? Or even better – try out a good-will store – you may be surprised at the quality of used clothes that you will find for just a few dollars!!
Start SAVING the extra money from your frugality. Use some to pay off debt and convert the rest to CASH, and keep it at home where you can see it. Seeing a pile of cash grow is an amazing motivator (the banks don’t pay interest worth anything anyway). Don’t get 50’s or 100’s. It’s much more fun to observe a stack of 10’s growing!
Point is, there are quite a number of ways that you can reign in your ‘habitual’ spending once you begin to think about it. You really can reduce it by an amazing amount. You will then have extra cash which you can use to PAY OFF YOUR DEBTS. It may take awhile, but believe me, once it is paid off, you will be reborn and will likely never go back to your old ways – given the process you went through to get there.
I’ve occasionally listened to Dave Ramsey and his radio show, and his ‘how-to’ message seems exactly right to become debt free. Here is his book which no doubt will help get you there.
The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
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