Excuses are one of the most available of commodities. Easy to find. Easy to use. But if they are what’s keeping you from becoming free of debt, ditch them and get on with making your personal finances more healthy.
Sometimes, it’s attitude more than finances that keep you shackled to debt. Some self-examination of your beliefs may convince you that you can do better. Here are five common reasons that people stay debt-bound:
I Deserve It
This attitude leads some people to opt for a pricey vacation or a new car of electronic gadget (on credit, of course) that would require only a swift glance at the budget to see it is clearly out of reason. What you’re really saying is “I deserve to be in debt.” And it’s true. The result, however, is more stress, less savings and planning for retirement.
I Don’t Know Where To Start
If you don’t want to look honestly at your debt and accept responsibility for it, this may be the point at which you stop trying. It can be overwhelming to see what a mess you’ve created. But there are some options to consider. Debt consolidation may give you some more wiggle room. Balance transfer credit cards may offer lower interest. Or go to an expert for help. You have to be willing to face the magnitude of your debt load, but keep always in mind that things will be better if you get a handle on it.
I’ll Deal With It Later
The procrastination approach is just another excuse. Waiting for a better job, for your rich uncle to die and leave you wealthy – whatever allows you to delay the process will do just that – delay the process. This is one of those situations in which there’s no time like the present to act. It falls into the same category as the “I’ll diet next week, as soon as the company party is over” delaying tactic.
I Only Need To Make The Minimum Payment
Paying as much as you possibly can on credit card or other debt is a wise move. They longer it takes to pay off a balance, the more interest you pay and the longer you are burdened with the debt. Don’t look at your monthly statement and focus on the lowest figure that catches your eye. Adding a little extra to each payment, even if it is a small amount, will erase the debt faster. And of course, adding to the balance faster than you pay it off will leave you scrambling forever. You damage not only your current financial state, but may rack up less-than-satisfactory credit reports.
I’m Not Responsible
Placing blame on other people or circumstances, even emergencies, is the ultimate excuse. It allows you to refuse to accept responsibilities for your actions. Emergencies happen to all of us and do, inevitably, require changes in financial arrangements. Many creditors recognize genuine budget stress and will cooperate. But too often, debt is caused by trying to live like an upper-class family on a middle-class paycheck. When you get serious about debt reduction, you may have to steel yourselves to bypass your favorite high-end shopping outlets, avoid friends who tend to encourage free spending, and economize on things like eat-out lunches and high-cost entertainment. The best thing you can do is accept that your debt is your debt and you are responsible for it. Getting control of it may be the best feeling you’ve ever had.