Unfortunately, more and more consumers are becoming victims of significant amounts of credit card debt that they probably will never get paid off. The Federal Reserve Report shows consumer debt increased 6.2% to $3.6 trillion in 2015.
It’s a shame to know credit card usage has become a way of life. Meaning most consumers use their credit card for day-to-day purchases. They dine out frequently, buy groceries, use their credit card to pay cell phone bills and so much more. Not because they want to, but because they have developed a pattern of resorting to the plastic because they life paycheck to paycheck. Most consumers have good intentions on paying the charges they’ve racked up when the statements arrive in the mail; however other life matters circumvent them from making the credit card payment a priority.
If you’re like many consumers - drowning in credit debt and often find yourself wondering how you‘re going to make your monthly payment, then hold on as I take you through steps for getting out of your financial mess.
Controlling Your Mindset
I know you’ve heard this a thousand times, but it all begins with your mindset. We are conditioned to spend money as a result of the habits formed and developed as a child. If we were exposed to our parents using a credit card for all purchases then we were more prone to grow up and apply those same learned habits. Nonetheless such negative habits have ruined the way consumers view and appreciate their hard earned money.
In order to unwind twenty plus years of negative money habits we’ll have to work to ensure our attitude towards money changes and practice financial forgiveness.
Financial forgiveness allows you to make a conscious, bold statements to release yourself from the past. It gives you an opportunity to reset the clock and start new again.
Detox Your Language
Let’s begin with a complete mental detox. Just as we prepare our bodies to get rid of toxic waste and chemicals that we’ve put into our bodies, we’ll need to apply the same concept to our financial mindset. As you work to clean up your financial house, you’ll need detox your language. This detox will enable you to listen to the words you speak so you can begin to understand what and how you are thinking about money. Although our conscious mind is trying to process positive words and phrases, the sub-conscious mantra will subdue negative thoughts and action and play on our inner self-talk; thus keeping one out of alignment with their financial goals.
If you catch yourself constantly speaking negative thoughts, then you’ll need to use a strategy to cancel the negative thoughts from your vocabulary. For instance, instead of declaring you are broke when asked to go out, you’ll need to select other choose words to reflect your current state of being such as I’m not broke, I’m temporarily out of cash. This simple step will change your mood.
When you develop the ability to reverse the negative language with a positive words and phrases, then you will begin to look at your finances through a different pair of lenses.
Affirmations are a great way to shift your mindset on how you feel about money. Again as we talked about the conscious and subconscious mind, by affirming your desired outcome of a situation, your subconscious mind will accept the words you use as “truth”.
Therefore affirmations are simply a way of thinking positive and being optimistic about a positive outcome. When you affirm a desired outcome it is important to repeat the affirmation constantly throughout the day.
Assessing your monthly income and expense is the cornerstone of your financial life. You must implement a budget if your plan is to free yourself from your financial mess. A budget is simply a picture of what your money is currently doing. You can create a simple budget in about 30 minute. Write down everything your spend money on, how much it cost you per month, add it up and subtract your monthly take home pay.
If you are committed to getting rid of your financial mess, then incorporate a rinse and repeat budgeting process each and every month, if not more often. Set up date night with yourself or your significant other. Place the appointment on the calendar every month to review your financial situation. Review the outcome of your budget at the end of each month or the first week of each month. Listen, millionaires spend 8.4 hours per month reviewing their finances so why can’t you adapt to one hour per week to review your finances. Don’t you think you’re worth it?
Once you have implemented your budget, then you need to execute actionable steps to determine where you can make significant cuts in your budget. If you are maxed out and operating in a deficient, then you need to be honest and open with yourself when dealing with the financial mess.
If you are in the negative each month, then you must take ownership of your financial situation. That means own your ship and look at alternative ways to generate income to help the pain. Be the aspirin to your own headache. Take a moment to brainstorm ways to make an extra $100, $200, $300 or more per month. You should be able to come up with several ideas that require minimal start-up efforts. And don’t forget, working extra hours so that you can start doubling up your monthly payments or even paying some of them off completely.
If all else fails and you still can’t find creative ways to generate additional income per month, then pick up the phone and call each of your credit card companies and use your leverage power in negotiating lower interest rates, forbearance programs and more.
Whatever you do, be responsible for your actions! If it’s your desire to transition to the Pillar of (Wealthy) Success, then you need to navigate your ship. You need to wake up, take your finances by the helm and set sail. What are you waiting for? Start NOW.