You can compare getting out of debt to going on a diet. We all know that food is good for us. But TOO much food is really, really a negative thing. It’s similar to debt. Everyone has to carry some debt, unless you have a very rich uncle or are related to royalty. Even then, most people have to finance something, or borrow something during some or all of their adult lives. But if you have debt that is out of proportion, it can ruin a lot of different other areas in your life. So making it a goal to reduce or eliminate the majority of your debt during the New Year is a very positive thing to consider.
Just like going on a diet, reducing your debt is not easy. It usually means making do with a little less. In food, the secret is to move and burn more calories, and eat less food. In dealing with money, the key is to eliminate or reduce spending you don’t need to make, and to save more. Excessive debt is only a negative, it doesn’t provide for your children, or further your military career. It does not yield benefits to a young marriage; on the contrary it can even sometimes lead to financial and emotional ruin. If you have debt beyond what you can service or pay for each month, it limits the amount of financial freedom you have; it destroys your existing resources, and eats up your income through having interest payments that are way out of line.
One of the famous saying that a nationally known weight loss group has is “Nothing is as good as becoming thin feels,” but its also true that you cant purchase the peace of mind you will have by being debt free. Not all of us can totally reduce our debt to zero, but we can certainly come as close to that as we can. As you reduce the amount of debt, there are many positives that you can count. You will argue less with others about money you owe. You wont experience as much anxiety about issues and bills that previously you could not pay. You will not have to screen your calls to duck bill collectors. There are just a lot of things that will improve as you work to become debt free.
Here are some warning signs to seek financial advice if any of these are true for you:
-Using credit repeatedly to pay for things you used to buy in cash (clothes, gasoline, groceries).
-Using your credit to pay for your monthly living expenses.
-Using up your savings to pay bills.
-Paying the bare minimums on your credit accounts.
-Relying on overtime to pay your normal, scheduled bills.