I know it sounds “bleedin’ obvious” and even a little bit like “teaching your Grandmother to suck eggs”, but if you are in debt crisis the first thing you need to do
Is call a halt to your spending!!!
Not for ever – but few days or a tight couple of weeks to let your cash-flow settle down so that you can get a really clear insight into the depth of your problem is an invaluable first step.
Its probably one of the toughest though.
You see, you didn’t get in to debt overnight (I’m assuming we are talking about consumer debt, because if we are talking about mortgage debt it is totally possible to get into debt, literally, overnight )
Instead the debt was a gradual thing – a series of decisions about how you spent the money available to your (probably wasn’t your money but someone else’s – like the Banks, The Credit Card Company or people close to you that you have borrowed from.)
But that series of – well lets face it – often not well through through decisions – have now come home to roost and you are facing a future where in order to get out of debt you are going to have to make a whole heap of different, more savvy decisions.
So a few days on a spending de-tox allows you some reflection time to look at your emotional motivations to spend as well as time to gather all your financial information around you to make a plan to move forward. ………. because you do realise that pretty much most of our spending is emotional in one way or another.
We spend money above and beyond our “essentials” to make us feel better –
- to fit in
- to impress others
- to assuage our guilt
- to get our revenge
– reasons that are all to do with our emotions.
So for me – a few days NOT spending but looking for my “spending triggers” was an eye-opening experience.
I would spend on my boys because I was trying to make up for the fact that their was no Father Figure in their life – and I will tell you this – what a lightening in my heart and my wallet when I realised that is not my problem!!!! That is squarely in the lap of absent Daddy!!
My task is to instead be the best mother and Governor of the family purse that I can. To give my kids positive attitude to money and not see it as something to be feared, but instead as a resource to be managed. Much healthier attitude.
Am I perfect – nope!!! I still love to treat my boys ………… but now the treats are “Guilt Free” as they come from a stable budget and don’t send us into a “Robbing Peter to pay Paul” scenario. Now spending is associated with Fun and Pleasure and Love – not guilt or shame.
So if you have reached a “debt crisis” point – or if you are beginning to feel that your good habits are beginning to slip a little and some sneaky little uncalled for discretionary spending is slipping in here and there…….
……………. then STOP!!!!, put in your purse only the “essentials” for the next few days (that is bus fare not chocolate bars BTW) and see if you can identify exactly the situations that make you want to spend to create an emotional pay-off.
A few days to let your bank account settle down, a few days where you acknowledge the emotions behind your spending and a few days getting your “ducks in a line” with all your paperwork……………..
………… so there is you challenge – its only a few days!!! What’s really stopping you??
Be an “Everyday Angel” – and share these 30 posts with your network – you never know who out there is in Debt and needs some support too.