PART TWO (see Part One here)
Rack debt up again – frack!
Whittle debt back down.
Slowly rack debt up again.
Hack furiously at debt.
Outta debt!!! < happy dance >
OOOOOPS – forgot about the car repair payment due but no money ’cause it paid off the debt.
Back in debt.
Discouraged. Pissed off. Get outta town for the weekend on the credit card since it’s racked up anyways.
In more debt than ever.
HACK FURIOUSLY AT DEBT.
Forgetaboutit. Just forgetaboutit.
You cannot get permanent results with temporary changes. (Liz said this first)
If pulling out your credit card because you don’t have the money for your purchase is a lifestyle, your lifestyle is out of whack with your income. It’s time to make some permanent adjustments. Will it be painful? Possibly, but not as painful as living with screwed up finances for the rest of your life. And probably not nearly as painful as you might think.
1. Start by getting a real handle on what you’re doing with your money.
2. Have a sober look at your lifestyle. I don’t mean the lattes.
I mean medium/big ticket things like:
- your choice of transport
- your choice of home
- the extent to which you socialize and how you socialize
- your choice of job (not enough income/location)
- your bright-shiny-objects (lookin’ at you, fellow geeks).
Are there systemic aspects of your lifestyle that are slowly taking you under? Wednesday’s post asked you to identify some small changes you could make to your lifestyle. Today I ask you to think carefully about the bigger picture. Are there some fundamental changes you need to make, permanently? This is not a quick-fix thing; this is a long, hard look thing that will require serious discussion with other people in your life, identifying multiple options for yourself, selecting the one that is most workable, and the resolve to make a permanent shift.
Wbat’s peace of mind worth to you? What’s that inner assurance that you are getting ahead worth to you? The lifestyle changes above are the pricetag. Over to you.
3. Find ways to increase your income. This is a whole topic in itself. It doesn’t have to mean a second job (but it could). You could start a small home-based business. You could ask for a raise. You could see if your investments could do better. You could actively seek higher-paying work. You could get your teen-age+ kids to contribute a bit to the family coffers.
update: for a recap of all Sept Money 101 posts, click here
Photo credit: Bill Luken