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How To Become Debt Free!
The way to stay debt-free is to:
1) Stop creating debt
2) Pay off your debt
3) Don't create any more debt
Have I mentioned this before?
If you need to know why, it's simple. There is a huge number of people (you're probably one of them) who will make the decision between having over $1,000,000 at retirement age or being broke. You will choose every time someone asks you, "Will that be cash or charge?"
If you pay cash and invest the amount you would have been paying in fees and interest, you'll be rich. Charge it and you'll be on the way to the poor house. It's as simple as that.
As with anything else, to change your current path you must know why you want to change. You must have leverage over your emotions, your habits, and your conditioned reflexes. In short, you must be convinced that you must change, it can not be an option, it must be a must.
But First, A Little Celebration
As you make your way down the debt-free path it's important that you celebrate your successes along the way. For more on this see the Same Money - More Fun
When you are finally debt-free I feel it's important to take some money, like a month's worth of payments, and spend it to treat yourself the best way you know how, and if necessary, learn an even better way to treat yourself just to get the most out of your celebration. You deserve it, and as you look around you'll know that you are one of the very few people in this world who are debt-free.
Use your money for your celebration, use it without guilt or shame. Of all the things that money can do one of them is treating yourself.
You're going to meet some resistance on the road to prosperity.
As much sense as it makes to live a debt-free and prosperous life, you're going to run into some very strong challenges to your common sense. You're going to hear voices telling you that you need credit, that you're only as good as your credit report, that it's just the way things are done. Some of these voices will be from family, some from friends; some will be your own inner voice trying to draw you back into the old comfortable pattern of debt. And don't forget about those multi-million dollar advertising campaigns aimed at separating you from your common sense. They are very effective but don't be swayed back into the depths of debt.
You may even fall back into the credit/debt trap. Just stop, take a deep breath and don't beat yourself up if you mess up. Keep your mistakes small, pay them off quickly and get back on the debt-free path.
If you want to shut up your critics, just challenge them. Usually the question, "How much credit card debt do you have," will be enough to shut them up.
Don't Confide In Those Who Don't Support You
There are going to be a variety of reason why people don't offer support to you on your road to debt-free living. Maybe they don't understand the concept, maybe they're jealous, maybe their stup... um, maybe they don't understand the concept. Let's assume that even your critics are well-meaning folks. They may be family and friends but if on this point they can't support you, don't talk to them about it.
A Real Emergency
Life just doesn't seem to make things easy on us. It's my belief that our challenges benefit us in ways that we may not fully understand. I'm ready for an even-keeled life that's without challenges but I know that the place that happens is not in this life. Emergencies happen and if you're dealing with them causes you to need to accept help, please do. If the help is in the form of temporary debt, so be it. Stand up to the challenge, confront it if you must. Conquer it, pay the debt back and move on without regret.
Then Move On If you fall off the horse, get back on and ride. If you can learn from it, learn. Don't agonize over it; just put it in the past and move on. Focus on your goals and what you can do today to get there.
"Thank you for your help and resources. I had no idea how to handle my creditors until I found your website. Yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel!
(2nd Grade School Teacher, Washington)
"I appreciate your helpful information. We were able to work out a deal that is a win win situation for me and my debt collector's. Thank you so much. Sincerely,