This is the first installment of our new series "The A-B-C's of fixing your debt and credit problems." Every few days we'll post another article, in alphabetical order. Today, we're starting with A for Acknowledge (obviously - sorry, I wasn't all that good at English in school).
Let's start with a question - why do people struggle with too much credit card debt?
It's not really due to a lack of money. Sure, having more money would be helpful. But there are plenty of people who make lots of money and still have too much debt. For a lot of people, the more you make, the more you spend (I'd love to be able to spend that much, but that's a topic for another day). And it's not really lack of understanding how credit cards work. If you've had a credit card for more than 30 days you know that you get a bill for what you buy. And if you don't pay the bill in full, it gets bigger from interest. And bigger. And bigger!
The real reason people struggle with too much debt is because they think that they won't get into trouble with debt. Other people have debt, not me, they'll say. Or I'll pay it off completely when the bill comes. Or I'll pay it off completely once I get paid. Notice a trend here...Excuses! Excuses! Excuses!
Well, it doesn't take long to figure out that excuses don't pay the bills.
All of these excuses are signs that a person doesn't understand that there is a problem. Like a drinker or smoker who says "I can quit any time I want" - but doesn't because they really can't - those with too much debt don't stop because they don't admit that there is a problem.
So the first step to fixing your debt and credit problems is to be honest with yourself - and realize that the real problem isn't just too much debt or bad credit. But a real problem with how you look at your finances.
Admitting that there is a problem - admitting that YOU and YOUR actions and thoughts and beliefs are the cause of the problem - is a huge (and very difficult) step.
I know, if you just had a little more money. Or if your creditors would just give a break for a month. Or if you could just get a new job making a little more money. Or if you could just win a few grand in the lottery. Or if ... STOP RIGHT THERE!
Been there, done that.
I know what those feelings are like. I know how hard it is to realize that your actions got you into trouble - and truly understand that your actions are the only way to get you out of trouble!
But once you do, it's such a relief! You feel so much in control. And even if it seems like a mountain standing there in front of you, at least you now have a fighting chance of fixing your money problems!
Stay tuned for the letter B in a few days...
Thanks to Tom at Canadian Finance Carnival for including us in the latest carnival!
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