I know so many people who portray themselves as happy on Facebook, that I can see are not very happy at all. People are keeping up with the Joneses, piling up credit card debt, feeling the pressure of impending college tuition, wondering how in the world did I get in this much debt and how am I going to get out of this? They work jobs they abhor and live lives that are severely disorganized.
My challenge has always been to push people to challenge themselves, to break the cycle of a life that is designing them vs them designing their life. And as I type this I realize some might read and say most people’s lives aren’t that bad; and my response is you have not been paying attention. It might be the case that not all families encapsulate my description above, but many families deal with a few. I believe we have been conditioned to accept debt as a reality, when in fact it is a defeatist mentality.
We must realize that our life is our responsibility and it is possible for us to make positive changes.
I have talked often in the past about debt and I have wondered myself why so many of my thoughts regarding living out dreams come back to debt. And I guess the answer is that in conversations with people I have heard the money excuse used all too often. And when I hear the money excuse used I immediately wonder how much cash they waste each month or how they use their money.
I personally have two resources that I guard as sacred: my time and my money. The money situation is very sensitive for lots of individuals because they feel a sense of embarrassment when light is shined on their inability to manage their personal life. If you speak to someone who works in the financial business they will tell you how defensive people get when their debt is criticized (and by criticize I mean it in the truest definition of the word, not pointing out flaws or making fun of).
I believe it is important for you to understand one fact: your debt could be getting in the way of you living a fulfilled life! We live in a society that tells us we must live in a certain type of house, drive a certain type of car, send our kids to a top school, we must work a certain type of job, we must associate with a certain type of people. And if you do not you are not successful. And you must obtain these things at any cost. So get yourself some credit cards, acquire a line of credit and go buy things so that people think you are successful and these things will make you happy and fulfilled.
And in the end what you have attained is a life that is fake, that you don’t own because you owe others for it, and a mountain of debt that you carry around like a 300 pound gorilla each and every day. Your debt restricts your ability to move out of a job that makes you unhappy, it restricts your ability to move out of a city or town that you do not like, it restricts your ability to see the world around you and it sets an image of the type of life your children expect to have for themselves.
For your information, Warren Buffett still lives in a house in Nebraska that he bought 50 years ago and drives an old Buick, both of which he paid off many years ago.
Do not wait for tomorrow, do it today! And contrary to what some might say Starbucks is not necessary. Car payments are not necessary. Shopping at the most expensive grocery stores is not necessary. Eating out is not necessary. Gym memberships are not necessary. Boats & motorcycles are not necessary. Cable television is not necessary. And these are just a few of the things I see people spending money on that they can neither afford nor sustain.
Your attitude towards buying things should always be: if you do not have the cash to buy, do not buy it. I will guarantee you if you eliminate all unnecessary spending each month you will have approximately $500 to pay on debt. My advice would be to pay down the smallest credit card first and gain some positive forward momentum. Then choose the second debt item and take the $500 plus whatever you were paying on the first credit card and pay that on the second credit card. You duplicate this formula as many times as it takes to get you out of debt and if you commit three to five years to this you will be 100% debt free. There are many methods or plans that one can use so be sure to educate yourself as to the best method for your situation.
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Many of the happiest people I know have extremely low debt. And by extremely low debt I mean they have an affordable mortgage, no car payment, and zero credit card debt.
Successful people do not stumble upon being successful. Their lives are purposely designed to give themselves the best opportunity possible to find success. And it is time for you to take control of your life and design it to give yourself the best opportunity possible to be successful. The first step is acknowledging that your life is your responsibility.