“We are currently on Module 9 of It’s Your Money. The biggest way this program has been helpful to us is that it has given us hope. We have been trying to get out of debt and into control for years now and it finally feels like it’s possible. Barry and Jeanette, BC Sept. 2011”
So many clients have a quiet hopelessness about their debt. They’ve been nearly submerged in it for so long they cannot conceive of it ever going away. Or perhaps they roll it into their mortgage only to wrack up the credit cards again.
In my experience, here is the underpinning reason folks don’t get out of debt once and for all: They focus solely on their debt – it becomes the central drama of their financial lives – instead of looking at their overall financial picture and seeing how debt-reduction can realistically fit in.
Here’s a practical example. Say Joe and Sue (fictional!) have a credit card of $7K plus a LOC of $11K. Then one day they bump up their LOC by $3K AND THEY PANIC.
Determined to GET RID OF THEIR DEBT they vow to cut back on eating out. To stop going to live theatre. Maybe even to sell the car and use public transit (but they don’t).
See what’s happening? They are not factoring in things like — some nights they work til 8pm and making themselves a meal is just.not.gonna.happen at that point. things like — going out for lattes is a stress-break, a vital little perk in the day, without which they feel pretty despondent (can’t even afford a freakin’ latte??). things like — next month is their anniversary and they are going to want to celebrate it.
When clients work with my program, they develop a holistic plan. One that accounts for their lifestyle and their idiosyncrasies that have unique money components. Only by grounding itself in LIFE AS IT REALLY IS, can any eliminate-debt plan hope to succeed.
There are the Krystal’s of the world, for sure, who are able to make it a priority and have it over and done with in a year. But for the majority of folks, a measured, one step after another approach is what works in the long haul.