The Business of Trucking
Strive to eliminate consumer debt
This is the third in a series on basic financial planning. Step 1: determine where you are now in your financial life. Step 2: establish an emergency fund. Step 3: eliminate all consumer debt with the exception of your mortgage.
You can make yourself richer by simply spending less than you earn. Unfortunately, many of us are up to our ears in consumer debt. We’ve maxed-out our high-interest rate credit cards, we have loans on personal vehicles that extend for years, the boat we just had to have just sits there while we continue to make payments. It’s so bad that when we actually need something, we have to charge it because there is no cash to pay for it.
This is a major problem waiting to ex-plode because it is so easy to get credit. If you are breathing and have a steady job, you can own just about anything your heart desires. Well, it’s time to wake up and realize we can’t go on this way. It’s catching up with us fast, and we are the only ones who can slow it down. What better feeling could you have than knowing you control your money?
Do the things you buy really seem worth that extra bill every month or the worry it creates wondering whether you can pay that bill? Wouldn’t it feel better to set a goal of owning a new TV, for example, and paying for it with cash? It isn’t that hard if you have a little patience.
We’re a society of immediate gratification. We want it right now, not in six months. If you look around, you will find that virtually all your personal belongings are not necessities. You could live without them. It’s not a bad thing to want to enjoy the things we can afford, but can we really afford them?
Ask yourself a couple of questions before you make that next credit card purchase. Will this item really improve my quality of life? Will it matter a year from now if I don’t have this thing? Is it worth paying more for it because I have to charge it?
If you can eliminate an unnecessary purchase each week, you will be on your way to spending less than you earn. How many of us love a raise? We think about all the ways we will use that extra money: pay off the credit cards, save for a house, go on vacation, etc. But do those things ever happen?
Check back next month for more on financial planning. In the meantime, check out my Web site www.masterthejourney.com.