Do you want to be free of credit card debt? Do you long for that feeling of release, that feeling of being in control of your personal finances without them controlling you?
Unfortunately there are many, many people who want these things. Circumstances have allowed them to be dragged deeper into the mire of debt and they know it they are trapped. If you are one of these then I encourage you to read on, because you can break free. But there are no quick-fix solutions.
The first part of the solution is to understand the problem. It’s a paradox that those of us living in the Western world, the richest part of the world, find it so easy to get into debt. As nations we are already rich, and that wealth has made us greedy. There’s another paradox here – most of the people that we know are not greedy, and yet these people are part of a nation which is corporately greedy.
What do I mean by that? The stock market, driven by investors, has been demanding higher and higher returns from businesses. These investors are themselves usually corporates bodies who want to get the best return for their members, such as pension funds. There are very few overtly greedy people, but we have allowed ourselves to make our corporates greedy.
This greed has fuelled easy credit – let’s make more money available to people so that they can, in turn, spend it. Why save up for that new car or holiday when you can take it now and pay for it later? We created a culture that said debt was okay, and that spending our future income was okay.
So that’s the background. But now we are paying the price of creating an unsustainable mountain of debt, both as a nation and as individuals. Which brings me back to you.
Getting out of credit card debt will not be easy. But now that you’ve been reminded of the background, you can take some small comfort that your situation is not entirely your own fault. Yes, you may have made some bad decisions about borrowing money, but you have been encouraged to do so by our culture. The importance of this is that you must not waste time blaming yourself and living with regret. What’s done is done, and hard though it may be, you need to take a positive approach to moving forward.
This is a major step forward in taking control. Even if you are still in debt you need to take a positive attitude and determine not to let it pull you down.
The second major step forward is to accept that the spend before you earn culture was not good. Make a commitment that life in the future will be different – you will earn before you spend, and you will also have to pay off the spending which was based on future earnings. Is it hard? Yes, but it puts you back in control.
If you want to manage your way out of credit card debt, or keep out of it, the first thing you need to do is ensure you have the right attitude towards it. Commit yourself to only spending what you have, and to live a life looking forward, not backwards. Take one day at a time and take pleasure in the simplicities of life.