Posted in Building Wealth, Credit Cards, Debt Free, Financial Freedom, Saving for Your Future, Winning with Your Money, You and Your Money

We Have a Shopping Situation

If you are in debt right now, odds are you have a shopping “situation”. For me, it was a full blown shopping addiction. (Yes – that is a real thing with a 12 step program and everything.)

But even if you aren’t addicted to shopping, your shopping “situation” is stymying you from becoming debt free and building wealth.So how did I get my shopping “situation” (addiction) under control? Here are a few things that I did that helped me turn it all around and even help me today when I find myself shopping more than my budget can handle.

  • Remove all of your credit cards from your shopping websites
  • Remove all of your shopping websites from your email
  • Cut up and close all of your credit cards
  • Only go to the store when necessary and when you go, take a strict list and cash
  • Be content with what you have – promise yourself you won’t upgrade unless what you have breaks and can’t be fixed.
  • When you start shopping online, get up and do something else. We shop out of boredom a lot and just doing something else for a few minutes gets our mind off of it.

Shopping gives many people a high – it makes us happy, gets us through rough times, and makes us feel good for a moment. But like every high, it doesn’t last. However, the debt does. We need to take a few seconds every time we feel like shopping and reprogram our brains to do something else – something that doesn’t cost money.

I challenge you to look at your credit card statements and your spending for the last 3 months. I think you will be shocked at how much you actually spent. Now, I want to challenge you to go on a 30 day spending freeze. This is how I retrained my brain 20 years ago and I still use it today when needed.

When you stop spending money on “stuff” and start buying only what brings value to your life, you will have more money to save and to use to pay off debt and build wealth. And that will give you a high that will stay with you always!

Posted in Building Wealth, Credit Cards, Debt Free, Financial Freedom, Winning with Your Money, You and Your Money

Lifehack – Truth About Credit Cards

Back in the day, I always associated credit cards directly with debt. If you had a credit card, you were in debt. If you didn’t have a credit card, you were wealthy.

During my journey, I learned the real truth about credit cards.

Credit cards are simply a form of payment – the same as cash, checks (for us older folks) and debit cards. That’s it – plain and simple. The feature of credit cards that is our downfall is the fact that the bank they are issued through gives us a special “limit” that they will allow us to spend without them saying “no more”. This is where people, and I was one of those people, turn a simple credit card into debt. We make purchases with an intention of paying for it when the bill comes, but when it comes, something new has come up and we can’t pay in full. And after a few months of this, we find ourselves on the hamster wheel of debt and paying interest.

Here is the truth about credit cards – credit cards have great benefits if they can be used as intended, as a form of payment. This means that you pay for something using your credit card and once a month, you make one payment to the bank, paying the bill off in full. This is what I do with all of our monthly bills. They all go on one card I have – a Disney Chase card – and once a month, I pay it in full. This has several benefits: Disney points to use on our vacations, one payment per month instead of multiple and it automates all of my payments, giving me one due date instead of 12.

For many years, I was unable to use a credit card as intended. And in the process, accumulated a butt load of debt. When I paid the debt off, I still shyed away from them because I never wanted to go back on the hamster wheel again. Once I knew, for sure, that I could use a credit card as intended, I decided to take advantage of the benefits.

Here’s the moral of the story – if used as intended, as a form of payment, a credit card can be beneficial. However, if using a credit card is causing debt in your finances, then stop using them immediately. It’s not about the card – it’s about how it is used.

Posted in Building Wealth, Debt Free, Financial Freedom, Saving for Your Future, Winning with Your Money, You and Your Money

When It Rains, It Pours

There is one thing I can guarantee you – no matter where you live, it is going to rain.  Maybe just one day a year, but it will rain.  When it rains on you, are you prepared with an umbrella or are you going to get soaked?

The same way it will rain on you literally at some point this year, it will also rain on you figuratively.  Something unexpected is going to happen.  An emergency is going to happen.  Life is going to happen.  Do you have an umbrella or are you going to get soaked?

Right now, many people in this country are wishing they had an umbrella – even a small one.  It is raining on them right now.  They are not getting paid because of a situation that they couldn’t control.  Some were prepared, but many were not.  Some will be able to continue to pay their bills and put food on the table, but many will not.  This is just an example of what happens everyday in this country and in our lives.  Life happens – some things we know might happen and some things we have no clue are going to happen.  This is why an emergency fund (umbrella) is so important.  If really should be the number one priority in your finances.

So how big should your umbrella be in order to not get soaked the next time it rains.  Ideally, you want to have one year of expenses set aside.  But start somewhere, even $50. And just keep building it.  You want to get $1000 to $1500 as soon as you can.  This way you can handle a sprinkle if it comes through.  Next, set aside 3-6 months of expenses.  This will cover a regular rainstorm.  And then save up to one year of expenses.  This size umbrella will cover any storm that comes your way – sprinkle to hurricane.

It is going to rain this year.  Are you ready?  Today is the day to start.  Whether you are starting at the bottom, or building what you have into a bigger umbrella, today is the day.  As people find out each and every day, you never know when a storm is coming.  The best thing you can do is be prepared.  Having an umbrella can be the difference in the rain being just a little nuisance and it being a drowning storm.

Listen to Debbi’s podcast on this subject and so much more.