Oddly enough, large amounts of consumer credit is a relatively new phenomenon. Our great grand parents thought debt was a sin! 100 years ago credit was considered stupid, and now it’s a necessary part of everyone’s financial life according to some financial writers. More and more wise consumers are realizing that the only people who make money off of you using credit cards, home equity loans, are banks and finance companies. Debt free is the way to be.
So let’s say you decide that you want to get rid of all of your debt and actually pay cash for things instead of financing everything up to your eyeballs. The first thing you have to do is make a realization. Debt is not the problem, debt is the symptom. You have to realize why you got in debt in the first place. One of two things happened, you lived above your means and spent too much money , or you are simply not working enough. Treating the symptom is not enough, you need to start living on less than you make and saving more so that you don’t incur any additional debt in the future. Paying off all of your debt won’t do you any good unless you change the behaviors which got you there in the first place.
The Bible tells us that when we are in debt, that we should escape it like a gazelle from the hand of a lion. When you pay off debt, it will only work well if you make it a priority, not just a priority, THE PRIORITY. You have to get rid of debt like it’s the plague. If you will get all fired up and work extra jobs for a year or so and live on nothing, most everyone can be debt free with the exception of their home by then. When you are in debt, work as hard and as fast as you possibly can to get out of it!
Finally, the third rule is that you shouldn’t stop at zero. Once you finally have all of your consumer debt paid off from your extra jobs and living on nothing you can’t stop there. You are living too dangerously close to the edge to stop. You should save at least 3-6 months worth of expenses in a money market savings account with check writing privileges and start putting money in a retirement account to ensure that you have a financial future that’s worth having! In addition to saving, you should start looking at saving for retirement, work on paying down your house and keep moving forward. You’ll want to look at estate planning issues, setting up a budget, insurance issues and paying for your kid’s college as well.