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Creating Space Series: Debt

Debt Gets Paid

How Big Is Your Debt Cloud?

Debt is a very common cloud looming over many heads right now. The first mistake with debt is to feel alone. You are not alone when it comes to debt!

Yes, this debt is yours, but don’t feel like you are the only one with this issue. After realizing that you are not alone, you need to develop a plan. Start out with figuring out your monthly income, and then create a budget. The budget will most likely be the hardest and most draining part of the whole experience.

Big, Boring Budgets Beat Being Broke!

If you have never lived on a budget, then it will be a huge adjustment, but you MUST commit. Create a budget that allows you to pay all of your bills and debts, and hopefully allows you to save a bit as well. If you notice that you don’t have enough money then look at your bills and look at which ones can be adjusted or eliminated.

The electric bill is one that you have a lot of control over. You can also eliminate cable/satellite TV, landline phones, cell phones, lawn care service, and the options are limitless.

Sometimes A Second Job Is The Only Answer

If you absolutely cannot find the money in your budget then you may need to look into getting a part-time job, or if your spouse is stay-at-home then consider trying to get them to pick up a part-time job. It isn’t the popular decision to make, but when a ship is sinking you need all hands on deck.

And if your budget exceeds your income YOUR SHIP IS SINKING! With the new stream of income, that money should not be used for anything other than eliminating debt, and paying bills that are necessities. You don’t need extra income to pay the cable bill; you need to CANCEL the cable.

Live Like No One Else

If getting rid of financial stress means living in the Stone Age for a little while then we think it is worth the hassle. We’d rather live in the Stone Age for a few years rather than live in debt slavery for the rest of our lives! What will you do without TV and internet? Maybe spend a little extra quality time with your family.

Reconnect without the distractions of television and computer games. You need a new perspective! Take the negatives of not having TV and internet and turn it into positives! Start a family game night, cook outside, play catch, go for walks. Just because you don’t have cable, it doesn’t mean you don’t have life!

Rediscover The World & Your Family

Many people find it freeing to be “unplugged” from the world for a while, and this just could be a blessing in disguise. If you discover that you actually enjoy this new-found lifestyle then you may make it permanent, and that would free up a whole bunch of money for use in the future.

There are many more television options available if you must be able to watch TV. Many TV shows are streamed on the websites of the companies that produce them, they are also available on Hulu.com, and sometimes also on YouTube.

If you have the desire to pay off your debt and free yourself from the slavery of it, then the options are out there. No legal option, no matter how extreme, should be taken off the table. Here are some other options that might border on the extreme side:

  • Do you rent? Move to a cheaper place!
  • Do you own a home? Try to sell it and move.
  • How much does that car cost you? Sell it and get a cheap gas sipper.
  • Hair stylist, masseuse, spa memberships? Say your goodbyes.
  • Weekly dinner out and a movie? Cook at home and rent.

If you are serious about getting out of debt rather than indefinitely refinancing it until the day you die, then you need to pull out all of the stops. For further reading we highly suggest:

Tomorrow we will be discussing bill stresses in our series about Creating Financial Space between you and disaster.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. Do you have a debt cloud hanging over your head?
  2. Do you ever fix it, or make it worse?
  3. Debt Clouds remain as long as you allow them to, how long do you want that cloud there?
  4. Are you willing to make tough decisions to change your life?
  5. What are you willing to do to change your life and eliminate that debt?
  6. Would you consider taking on another job, or cutting down greatly on your spending?
  7. Will you sit down, write out a plan, and do your best to follow it?

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