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Dont Let The Good Times Bury You
It is vital to get rid of debt while things aregoing well. Yet the opposite is usually thecase. Human nature is such that when wefind ourselves living in good times, we letdown our defenses. With our lives goinggreat we seem to make the worstdecisions. It's not hard to understand whythis happens. We believe things will alwaysbe better in the future, "When I'm donewith school, When I get a better payingjob, I'm sure I will get that promotion."
With this attitude, that extra lumpsum of money, or the raise at work, isused as a springboard to increase yourpersonal debt. After all you can now affordbetter this, bigger that. You assume inyour linear view of life that tomorrow willtake care of everything. You don't becomeconcerned with your debt load, until youno longer can make the payments.
When you begin to feel the squeeze ofdebt, you want some quick fix to get youout of trouble. Unfortunately there are noquick fixes for debt that will leave you (oryour credit report) unscarred.
But why should it be any different fromother areas of your life? If you know afood will give you heartburn you take apill and, "presto," you may eat any thingyou like. If you can't find time to exercise,just take a pill and watch those poundsmelt away.
The economy is built on the same "I wantit now," principle. If you want an item,you just whip out the plastic. You need itnow. You will figure out later how to payfor it. When your plastic can take no more,you want out of debt in an easy way. Youbegin looking for the magic pill.Unfortunately the drugstore closed a longtime ago.
A woman, who I know casually, had noproblem taking on more debt because shesaw herself able to handle the extrapayments. She reasoned, if everythingremained the same she could handle thedrain on her income. So she bought someexpensive gift items on her cards andbegan making the monthly payments.
She found out rather quickly she could notsee into the future very well. Her car gaveout on her. The repairs exceeded the valueof the car. She needed one for work, soshe bought another.
The new payment wiped out the tinycushion she had each month and also madeit impossible to pay on her credit cards andstore accounts. Today she finds herselfhounded by her creditors and unable topay them anything.
What she should have done, and what youshould do, is pay off your debt while youcan and not take on any more. Whateverextra you have each month should beapplied toward getting out of debt in asystematic way. Until you are debt free,you should order your life to make it a toppriority.
Life's pressures are more easily handledwithout money worries dogging you. Thenwhen those big promotions, with those bigraises come along, you will be trained toput some aside. And without debt to takecare of, you can. The goods times then,truly, will be the good times.
(c)2004 David Wilding
David Wilding has worked with individuals and groups to help them get rid of debt. He has, for the past ten years, attempted to change attitudes toward and the acceptance of personal debt. Visit his website http://www.debtattack.com for more ideas, tools, and strategies to make yourself debt free.
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