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In Matters Of Debt, Change Your Best Thinking

best thinking in debtSometimes you need to change your thinking to change the outcome.

There’s a saying in Alcoholics Anonymous that goes, “Your best thinking got you here.” In the context of recovery from addiction, the phrase means that your best ideas about a happy life nearly you killed.

Now, you need to change how you think you can reach happiness in a way that doesn’t involve addiction.

The same lesson applies when it comes to money.

Best Thinking And The Road To Debt

If I think back on the thousands of people I’ve spoken with over the years, I can’t recall one who got into debt realizing how bad of an idea it was.

Everyone figures they’ll get a credit card to start building up good credit.

They’ll use the card a few times, pay it off over a few months to show a good payment history, and be done with it.

But one use turns into a few, either by necessity or accident. The minimum payments are so low, it’s not a problem.

Suddenly, It’s A Problem

Then there’s a bump in the financial road, a time when the minimum payment suddenly feels impossible to make. Maybe you needed to use the credit cards for a larger purchase because you didn’t have the cash at the ready. Perhaps if you hadn’t been using credit cards in the past, you wouldn’t have been short in the bank account.

People in the throes of addiction report skipping the rent to buy drugs or alcohol. They talk about dropping the kids off with a relative for the weekend so they could go on a bender.

Sacrifice in the face of feeding the addiction in a tale told time and time again.

Looking at my clients’ finances, they do the same thing.

Let The Rent Slide A Few Extra Days

The credit card bill comes due. You can choose to pay it or mail in a rent check. The landlord won’t kick you out if you’re a few days late, but the credit card company will cut you off and send you to collections if you’re 20 minutes past the due date.

So you skip the rent, paying the credit card instead.

Next month the bill’s a bit bigger because you’ve been using, so you’re a few days later on the rent.

You continue down the spiral until one day, there’s nothing left. You either pay the rent or the card – and you can’t do both, even with some fictitious grace period to the landlord.

Time To Change Your Best Thinking

You had the best of intentions when you started using your credit cards – who would knowingly act in a certain way knowing they would end up broke?

Now, you’re powerless over your bill problems and your life has become unmanageable.

Time to take stock of things in the harsh light of reality, set a course for ending your bill problems, and move forward.

Learn how to live a life free of debt. Change your best thinking and stop robbing yourself of a stable financial future.

Image courtesy of  Haleyface

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By |April 15th, 2013|

About the Author:

I’ve been a consumer protection lawyer since 1995, working to help people end their bill problems. I’m a faculty member at the Student Loan Law Workshop, a nationally recognized speaker, and a long-time member of both the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and National Association of Consumer Advocates.

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