In this era where we are bombarded daily with commercials on television, radio, billboards, through email, not to forget the flyers slipped under the car's wiper blades while shopping at the mall, it's no surprise that so many of us find ourselves endlessly in debt to the services and products offered by others. How can we refuse, when we're baited with the juicy orange carrot of '0% APR' up to a certain amount or for a specified time, or 'no money down' and 'easy installments' of just so much per month?
Before we know it, we're in debt. We have credit card payments, consumer loan payments, car payments, a home mortgage, and only enough money coming in to pay the minimum amounts each month. Then, we start noticing a different set of ads being directed at us from every marketing angle imaginable. Get a home equity loan and pay off your credit cards, some suggest. Start your own home business using our 'unique, proven' system, and all your financial problems will be gone before you know it. But, are these really the solutions that most of us so desperately need?
Far too many of us are as quickly bought by these financial rescue ads as we were bought by the ads that inspired us down the road to financial trouble. And, when we've tried more than one and found ourselves still dealing with monthly minimum payments or even possibly just finding ourselves deeper in debt for having tried so many systems, we end up asking ourselves what were doing wrong. Some who are financially struggling do take the route of taking a loan to pay off the loans already made with others, and get the instant gratification of available credit all over again. Or building a home business that does generate a positive return of some sort, giving them more financial freedom to spend freely on themselves and their loved ones. But, by doing this, are we really resolving the problem? And, what about those that don't have or want these options - regardless how many happy testimonials from clients are shared?
Not everyone owns a home or, for the ones that do, may be leery about the idea of taking out a massive loan to pay off many smaller loans. Not everyone wants to start a home based business, they just want the freedom that comes with not having a lot of debt every month. And, most importantly, the quick fix solutions to life's financial troubles doesn't give any insight into how we got ourselves into this financial situation in the first place, and how to avoid it now that we have the spending capital that comes with available credit again. So, for the many of us who are seeking a genuine solution to our financial woes, what is the answer we're looking for?
The answer may be a lot closer than we think. It first starts with developing awareness of where our paychecks are going and to whom. Yes, the ol' balance sheet thing, where we keep a detailed log of our spending activities. And, where we determine by simple addition just how much we presently owe to those who have loaned us money for life pleasures and necessities. Now that we know where we actually are, we can now determine just where we want to be. But, just doing this doesn't solve the problem. Rather, we've managed to illuminate it, so what do we do from here?
For starters, get the financial knowledge that we so desperately need to stop the growing cycle of debt building, and start eliminating the troublesome debts that consume our paychecks month after month. Fortunately, this knowledge is not that hard for us to find, if we know where to look. There are non-profit organizations advertising on television and radio that are devoted to helping people consolidate there debts, and this is a start. Other sources require a purchase of there educational media or encourage membership in their organization for a nominal fee, and the information provided can be more than worth the small investments if the teachings are taken seriously and applied to one's real life budget.
Maybe the solution is literally as simple as the way one teacher on the subject puts it: "If you don't want to make the hole that you've dug for yourself any bigger, then stop digging!" Sure, this may mean having to do without some of the latest technological gadgets, or having to discipline yourself into putting a small amount of the monthly paycheck into a savings account. But, any step that will allow us to keep more of the money we've worked so hard for is a step in the right direction. Then, comes the focus on eliminating the burdensome debts that are already weighing us down. And, it may take awhile. But, isn't the freedom to do what we want with our money worth the effort and time?
After freeing ourselves from the obligations to creditors and banks, the money once spent on debts needs to go somewhere. Maybe it's now time to consider investing this money into stocks or real estate or, possibly, even a business that in time will generate a positive return on our money. This, too, will require some education into the what and how of making wise investments. But, the information is as readily at hand for those who are ready as the solutions to relieving debt.
Then, comes the need to assure ourselves that we won't fall back into the monthly drag of giving away our money to the advertisers that so diligently entice our attention. Resisting the urge to buy into costly items is one way of dealing with this. But, in a land of prosperity such as ours, is it really necessary to live frugally? There may be yet another way. How about buying the assets that will generate an income that we can then spend on these desired possessions?
Not necessarily a novel or new concept, but.... How many of us struggling monthly with debts ever considered the possibility that we really have the opportunity to reach this point? Regardless our present status in life, what can we really achieve with just a little awareness, thoughtful planning, and the knowledge of what to do and when to do it? For those who are seriously looking, there is a way out of debt. And, though each person's situation may be slightly different, the steps that are outline above have been used and proven to be effective by countless individuals who live financially happy lives. Just check out their ads!
Joseph T Farkasdi is the President of JtseF, Inc. and is a member of the Financial Freedom Society. He is an entrepreneur who is committed to helping others achieve the financial lifestyle they desire. For more information on eliminating debt, visit http://www.jtsef.com/financial.htm.