Debt that can eat you alive!

by Miriam Bridgeman

Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if you could eliminate all your debt? Increase your cash flow and make sure your retirement was secure?

There are plenty of advisors to advise you on how to save and invest. Not many of them are talking about how to reduce or eliminate your debts. Nor are they addressing how to protect your family and secure your financial future all in the same conversation. If I could show you how to eliminate your debt, including your house in 9-years or less, would you be interested?

One thing is for sure – the interest rate you pay to the banks or credit card companies can keep you stuck in that revolving debt structure, unable to keep your head above water. In the way of electronic statements and paying your bills online, I think we miss seeing our true debt number. When you get a moment, pull up one of your credit card statements and find the interest rate you are paying. Second, look for the number of years it would take to pay off your debt with just minimum monthly payments. It can be quite surprising. I know credit is necessary at times when there’s an emergency, and you need to use it to buy a new refrigerator, or the furnace just went. But is it necessary when you see a sale and then just whip out your card to buy something? If you can pay it off before interest accrues, then yes, it was a great deal. As soon as interest hits the balance of that half-price sweater, jeans, or other items, then it doesn’t turn out to be such a good deal anymore. You’re not alone. Did you know that 8 in 10 Americans have debt? Student debt is the biggest bucket of debt plaguing younger Americans.

So, what’s the answer? Don’t live, don’t educate yourself, don’t start a family? Unrealistic as all of these are, we are all set up in the game of life. Money needs to be spent on these life items and many other things. Life is expensive. The choices we make can chain us to debt for a good part of our life, putting off saving for the future. The key is to use your money at least twice. Banks turn over our $1 deposit 7-times to make a profit. So how do we do it? The focus must be on eliminating and reducing our debt in the most strategic way. Paying 20%+ interest on credit cards must be a thing of the past. By utilizing products that allow us to borrow our own money while still getting the benefit of dividends. Deciding to create our own bank that we can tap into and pay ourselves the interest by securing that loan. We can take loans out on our own money and then get the reward of dividends paid back to ourselves. It’s no secret. Banks and other large companies have been utilizing this system for years. It is available to us but understand that not all companies or products are the same.

The goal is to shift inefficient dollars into being more efficient, tax-favored, and working harder for you. Look for ways to save money in your budget, plan for the expected and unexpected, minimize debt to create additional wealth. Remember when you were younger, and you got your first real job making real money. You thought, wow, this is great! I have enough money to pay for my housing, car, insurance, food, and some leftover. But then you get to a point when it wasn’t enough, so you find a different job making more money. Back to feeling like life was great. How many salary raises and job changes have gotten you to today? When will it be enough to sustain your lifestyle? Looking back to simpler times, how could I afford life then with so much less, and now I am struggling? Think about what’s changed. Try to think back to that place when life was less expensive. Maybe not all the way back to that studio or shared apartment but somewhere in the middle. You could conquer the world. Now maybe you’re just trying to make it through the week. If this feels like you, there is hope. There is something we can do today to reverse where you are. Take a good look at your budget and see if there are things that you can cut today to shift into a savings program. Get a good handle on where your money is going and utilize a system or philosophy for yourself that makes you think before you swipe. Talk to an advisor that is certified in the Debt Free Life program.

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