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How To Become Debt Free!
Getting out of debt and building an ever expanding nest-egg requires a variety of skill sets. Among them is the ability to recognize where you’re at financially and determine where you’d like to be. Then you need to understand the possible debt elimination paths, choose one and put together a plan to make it work.
Then there are the fundamentals of good money management. The include balancing your checking account, knowing how you spend your money, what your monthly bills are and how much income you’ll be receiving. Then by making your bills less than your income you’ll be on the path to financial freedom. Except for one thing, that funny thing called life.
Its life’s unexpected events that make one management skill more important than all the others. It is the critical factor in successful money management.
THE CRITICAL FACTOR
The one thing that will present the greatest challenge and the greatest rewards is the ultimate management challenge. That is managing yourself.
Every coin has two sides. So do we, at least two sides. Here we’ll talk about the two sides of three different coins. Together they will help us manage our financial habits and emotions in a real world way, a way that has focus but also flexibility.
RIGHT THING - WRONG THING
Financially speaking the right thing and the wrong thing are relative terms. Spending $100,000 on a new car is not a big deal if you have $10 million in the bank. If you’re struggling to get out of debt it is.
The best place to determine what’s right and wrong for you is in your budget planning sessions. There are basic necessities but almost everything has variations that could place it in either the good or bad category. You have to eat but you don’t have to eat out every night. But on the other side of the coin, eating out occasionally is okay if you’ve planned for it and it fits into your budget.
Whether something is financially right or wrong for you at this time is up to only one person, you. That’s why it’s up to you to make yourself make the judgment in advance instead of letting circumstances force a bad decision. About the only wrong decision you can make is to avoid being honest with yourself about your situation. Even if you make a choice that you eventually deem as wrong its better that not thinking it though because most of the time you will make the right decision. So coin one is to impose a set of judgments on yourself as to what you can really afford, what you really need and what you can do without until you’re in a better situation..
FINANCIAL HABITS – SPONTANIETY
The second coin comes once we’ve determined what’s right and wrong. That’s the implementation of those decisions until we don’t have t think about them. We need to create good financial habits.
Like any habit at first we have to think about them and even make ourselves do them when we don’t want to. Then we find the longer we do them the less we have to think about them until eventually they become automatic.
Of course then there’s the other side of the coin. We don’t want our habits to put us in a rut. Life and those unexpected events will often give us opportunities to do things we hadn’t planned on, many of them pleasurable. It is important to be able to seize a good opportunity when it arises.
The best way to assure that you can enjoy the moment is to plan for the unplanned opportunity. You can do this by creating a fund for “unexpected fun” in your monthly budget. You probably will not use this fund very often and that’s the great thing about it. If you put $25 dollars a month into the fund then in four months you’ll have $100 to do something fun on the spur of the moment and you won’t have to feel guilty or do without something you really need.
When you develop the habit of financial integrity you’ll find you can have what you really need and have the ability to breakout and take advantage of the moments that make life fun. Create good financial habits and enjoy your spontaneity.
SUCCESS – FAILURE
This is one big coin. All other coins fall under the shadow of success/failure. For a more detailed look at success read The Art of Prosperity and for failure read The End of Failure, now here’s a quick look at success and failure.
The more I learned about debt (failure) the more I understood that getting out of debt is accomplished by planning and working towards creating abundance (success). The more I learned about success the more I understood that dealing with failure was a critical aspect of succeeding.
Planning for success is like planting an apple tree. You need an apple seed. Then you need a place to plant it. By receiving the proper nutrients the seed will grow into a tree. Simple enough. Except for the complications life can throw its way.
Before panting the seed you’ll need to prepare the soil by making sure it’s healthy. You may need to dig up old rotten roots and add fertilizer. Then once the seed is planted and the tree is growing, in addition to regular care, you may have to deal with drought, flooding, and insects, just to name a few. Just doing the right thing doesn’t guarantee immediate success but by dealing with adversity along the way you will, in the long run, get to where you want to go.
Like the planting an apple tree, planning for success requires that you dig out all the rotten old stuff from your life, the failures and the set-backs. Then you determine what you want to accomplish, put together a plan and get started. Along with regular care you’ll then need to deal with new failures and set-backs as they come along. Rest assured that on every path of success there will be set-backs, but they can be overcome by re-focusing and continuing to work towards success.
THE FREEDOM TO FAIL
Our economic system gives us the opportunity for success but also guarantees that there will be failures. Success requires taking risks and while some projects will succeed most will fail. But failure is not permanent unless we internalize it and give up. No matter what failures you have had in the past they do not stop you from succeeding in the future. But unless you learn from your mistakes you may repeat them. So pay attention to what you’re doing and the results you’re getting and keep trying until you succeed.
Choosing between the good and the bad, creating good habits while remaining flexible and dealing with failure on the way to success are not exclusive to financial well-being. They are the same in every aspect of your life. It is by building financial character that will bring about financial freedom from the inside out. Rest assured that having food financial character doesn’t stop you from having set-backs and even spectacular failures but if will help you get past then and back on track. Because in the end what you become is determined by who you are at least, I believe, that’s the best way to approach life.
Debt-Free and Prosperous Living
End the stressful grip of debt without personal bankruptcy. Eliminate all debts and enjoy financial freedom and debt free living. Not just a bankruptcy alternative but a way to create a debt free stress free life. It can happen much quicker that you might imagine. Go ahead start right now! Debt-Free and Prosperous living starts with one very important ingredient ATTITUDE!!!
The idea of living your life as a debt-free and prosperous person is ...well, an idea. It's a thought process and a concept, just the way that mindlessly taking out a credit card to buy things you can't afford to pay cash for is a concept. What a concept! Everything that exists today started as an idea. So the fact that being wealthy starts as an idea is not only normal, but extremely powerful.
I'm going to talk about things that I've learned that have helped me have an increasing prosperity consciousness. A lot of this I'm sure you already know, but it's all designed to help you think and behave like a debt-free and prosperous person. I will tell you this; it feels a lot better to be debt-free than it does to have debt.
Your Thoughts About Money
One of the basic elements in getting rich is to determine how you think and feel about money. If you think money is evil then why would you want to accumulate large amounts of it? Why would you want any at all? What about rich people; do you think they're controlling, greedy, evil or just flat out bad people? Why then would you want to be one?
It's important for you to understand how you think about money. What are your childhood memories concerning money? Did your family have enough? Did you blame rich people for your lack of money? Did having money bring happiness or did it bring the fear of losing it? Everyone's childhood memories will be unique to them but most will fall into predictable patterns.
In order for you to be able to have healthy thoughts about money, abundance, and your desire to have an abundance of money, you must be clear on what your thoughts are and how they came to be.
A Prosperity Exercise
Take a few minutes; this time will be very valuable for you so please take it seriously. Grab a pen and a notebook, find a peaceful quiet space, and relax. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and when you feel calm start to remember yourself as a child. When did you first come to understand that money was important? How did your parents relate to money? How did money affect the relationships between the adults, family and friends, when you were growing up? What did your parents tell you about money either verbally or through their actions? Was there a particular incident concerning money that stands out as special or traumatic during your childhood?
Do you still carry with you these attitudes and feelings about money today? Unless you've already worked through them, yes you do. It may be that you have healthy thoughts about money, but most of us don't. If your thoughts are holding you back from being able to accumulate and enjoy money, then it's time for a change, and the time is now.
A Grown-up Perspective
As a child we are told things to protect us. We don't have the adult ability to use our judgment so we must follow very basic rules. Don't talk to strangers. That's good advice to give a small child but it just doesn't work for adults. If you still abided by that rule you'd never talk to a store clerk, a waiter, a cab driver or any of the other hundreds of strangers you talk to in the course of a month.
Money is dirty. That may be a good thing to tell a child who wants to put everything in their mouth. Are you still carrying thoughts of money being dirty? If so, it's time to take another look. While that thought did serve you well as a child, it may now, at least on a subconscious level (and by the way the sub-conscious level is extremely powerful) be holding you back from becoming wealthy and enjoying life.
Write down your thoughts about money. If they don't serve you now simply write that down too. On paper explain to yourself that what worked for you as a child does not work for you now. You now believe that accumulating money is healthy, it allows you to live a better life. It allows you to have better relationships and it allows you to help other people in need in ways that you are not now able to help. Thank your parents, or whoever gave you these thoughts and explain to them that you've simply outgrown them and have replaced them with adult concepts that better serve you now.
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