Point blank, debt can steal your dreams. Having a mortgage or student loan debt is one thing, but having consumer debt will limit your options in life. The best way to handle it is to repay it aggressively.
Sometimes that is much easier said than done, especially if you find yourself using excuses to avoid paying debt or or are accumulating more debt. Are any of these 8 excuses keeping you in debt?
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1. I will start tomorrow
When it comes to saving money and paying off debt, you can only get away with using this excuse for so long and you will have backed yourself into a corner.
There may not be a big difference if you start saving at the age of 25 rather than 20. But when it comes to debt and interest payments, time is money.
The longer you carry a balance on a credit card that has a high interest rate the more money you will be paying out to a big bank.
The sooner you suck it up and build an emergency fund and make a plan for debt repayment, the sooner you will see stress in your life that pertains to money begin to lessen.
There is no time like the present to begin building financial freedom. Stop with the excuses and make a debt repayment plan today.
2. It is just…
I like this excuse. I hear it a lot. It becomes very easy to justify spending $2 here and $2 there, but look at how many times in month you do that.
In a months time or years time, how many dollars do you piss away at $2 – $10 a shot, just because it does not seem like a whole lot when you are standing at the checkout counter.
Before you put the item in the cart, take the time to ask yourself if it is something you really need. Also, take notice of how often you add these “low cost” unplanned items to your cart when you are shopping.
If buying unplanned items is a habit, it can be costly over time and will lead to debt, or hinder the repayment of debt or steal from money you could be saving. Limiting small impulse buys can add up to decent savings.
3. I work hard, I deserve it
This is true for many people, but they do not all use this excuse to spend money they don’t have or buy stuff to make themselves feel better.
What you deserve is the peace and stress free life that living debt freedom brings. Anytime I have taken “I work hard, I deserve” attitude with a purchase, I have often looked back on the situation with remorse.
The best thing a person can give themselves is financial freedom. With financial freedom comes options. You are not backed into a corner by your debt or lack of savings.
While experiences can give you memories that last a lifetime, you can always create memories when you have planned for them, financially.
Physical things are the worst for buyers remorse and regret. You are often left with months or years of payments long after you have forgotten what you bought. Set financial goals and plan and save for the things you deserve.
4. I don’t make enough money
This may be true, but I have been amazed by what I have seen people do with a small income. If your income does not support your spending, you have two choices…make more or spend less.
Try looking at your budget first and see where you can cut back on your spending. You may be surprised where you can find extra money.
If you are truly in a position where you do not make enough money (it does happen), you can look for a job that pays more. Your other choice is to add a side hustle to your life and make additional money.
The nice thing about side hustles is they give you additional resources as well as a skill set that you can use for making money in the future, if necessary.
Having enough money is a mindset in many cases. Look at your budget and make the necessary adjustments to your spending or income to allow you have the necessary cash to avoid debt.
5. It is too hard
It is hard, but so are many other things and we manage. When it comes to your family, you do everything you can to make smart decisions and keep them healthy. Why not do the same with your finances?
There are hundreds of tools available to help break your finances into parts so you can list your expenses, debt and income down into a workable plan for increasing your income, reducing your spending and paying off your debt.
Break your large goals down into smaller, actionable steps and begin working through your plan. Reward yourself when you reach milestones along the journey.
Many things worth having will not be easy and debt freedom is definitely worth the struggle. Get some financial printables and look at your spending, expenses and debt on paper to make a plan and ease the difficulty.
6. You only live once
This is so true, but I would rather live my one life without the stress of debt.
Living like you don’t have to worry about tomorrow, will leave you wondering how you are going to repay or debt or not having an emergency fund sufficient to cover emergencies.
You can have your cake and eat it too, if you plan for it. What is it that Dave Ramsey always says…If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.
No one is trying to keep you from experiencing everything in life, but doing it via credit cards will come back to haunt you later.
You can have fun and do the things you want, but cannot do it without making sure that you budget can support an expensive vacation or a new car or whatever it make be that you want.
7. I am just being generous
It is nice to be able to give things to other people and treat them to things that may not be able to afford on their own. But this is not something you should being doing at the expense of your own budget.
It is still paying for things you cannot afford whether you are being generous with others or not.
Picking up the tab for a large group and buying expensive gifts that are out of your budget may be remembered by the recipient, but you may also be reminded of this generosity for many months to come when you receive your credit card statement.
Here again, if you want to pick up the tab or buy an expensive gift, budget for it. Things like this may not fit your budget at all and in most cases is not expected by the recipient of this generosity.
8. But it’s at 0% interest
This is my favorite of excuse of all. Is it okay to have debt because the interest rate is 0%? While zero percent is great (as interest rates go), but at the end of the day, it is still credit card debt.
It is still money coming out of your bank account each month and being paid to someone else.
In most cases, transfering debt to a zero percent interest credit card has a transaction fee of 3%. So, if you transfer $3,000, for example, you will owe $3090.
The second problem with zero percent interest cards is the interest rate lasts for a limited amount of time and then the interest rate will increase. It could go as high as 29%. A late payment could also cause the interest rate to go up.
People who play the zero percent offer interest game often transfer an outstanding balance from one credit card to a new low interest card the month before the interest rate is scheduled to increase.
All these maneuvers are a band aid. Stop look at debt at zero percent like it is not debt. Dig in an repay, or better yet don’t charge in the first place.
A Final Note…
There are a lot opinions about debt and I agree that some kinds of debt is not as bad as other kinds. But, at the end of the day, it is all money that has to be paid to a lender.
If you are carrying consumer debt balances, you are stealing from yourself and filling the pockets of the credit card companies. Stop making stupid excuses, payoff the debt and begin living a more stress-free life.