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Dont Let The Good Times Bury You

It is vital to get rid of debt while things are going well. Yet the opposite is usually the case. Human nature is such that when we find ourselves living in good times, we let down our defenses. With our lives going great we seem to make the worst decisions. It's not hard to understand why this happens. We believe things will always be better in the future, "When I'm done with school, When I get a better paying job, I'm sure I will get that promotion."

With this attitude, that extra lump sum of money, or the raise at work, is used as a springboard to increase your personal debt. After all you can now afford better this, bigger that. You assume in your linear view of life that tomorrow will take care of everything. You don't become concerned with your debt load, until you no longer can make the payments.

When you begin to feel the squeeze of debt, you want some quick fix to get you out of trouble. Unfortunately there are no quick fixes for debt that will leave you (or your credit report) unscarred.

But why should it be any different from other areas of your life? If you know a food will give you heartburn you take a pill and, "presto," you may eat any thing you like. If you can't find time to exercise, just take a pill and watch those pounds melt away.

The economy is built on the same "I want it now," principle. If you want an item, you just whip out the plastic. You need it now. You will figure out later how to pay for it. When your plastic can take no more, you want out of debt in an easy way. You begin looking for the magic pill. Unfortunately the drugstore closed a long time ago.

A woman, who I know casually, had no problem taking on more debt because she saw herself able to handle the extra payments. She reasoned, if everything remained the same she could handle the drain on her income. So she bought some expensive gift items on her cards and began making the monthly payments.

She found out rather quickly she could not see into the future very well. Her car gave out on her. The repairs exceeded the value of the car. She needed one for work, so she bought another.

The new payment wiped out the tiny cushion she had each month and also made it impossible to pay on her credit cards and store accounts. Today she finds herself hounded by her creditors and unable to pay them anything.

What she should have done, and what you should do, is pay off your debt while you can and not take on any more. Whatever extra you have each month should be applied toward getting out of debt in a systematic way. Until you are debt free, you should order your life to make it a top priority.

Life's pressures are more easily handled without money worries dogging you. Then when those big promotions, with those big raises come along, you will be trained to put some aside. And without debt to take care of, you can. The goods times then, truly, will be the good times.

(c)2004 David Wilding

David Wilding has worked with individuals and groups to help them get rid of debt. He has, for the past ten years, attempted to change attitudes toward and the acceptance of personal debt. Visit his website for more ideas, tools, and strategies to make yourself debt free.

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