Career Builder estimates 6 out of 10 Americans live “paycheck-to-paycheck.” Of that number, another 40% rely on credit cards for their basic living expenses.
The truth is, 69% of America carries some type of debt every month. Not 50 years ago, people wouldn’t even fathom going into debt! Being in debt was a shameful way to live. And now we are here, in a society that has accepted debt as a part of life.
If this is you, the good news is… you aren’t alone. The even better news, there is something you can DO about it that DOESN’T require making more money. But you have to be willing to get out from under that stress, that bondage, that hold the credit companies have over your life. “Debt – an ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slavedriver.” – Ambrose Bierce. Debt is total bondage!
The difference between people who have debt, living paycheck-to-paycheck and those who are debt-free or are banking money into their savings every month, is not how much money they make. It has everything to do with their mindset and how they view money.
You might not realize it, but if you spend everything you make you have a poverty mentality. This mentality says the money won’t always be here so you have to spend it while you got it. A poverty mentality motivates you to buy expensive houses, fancy cars and “designer” clothes you actually can’t afford. It has you convinced that you need more stuff, more money and more things to prove your social status or to bring you happiness.
Just a few months ago Business Insider published an article on the 10 characteristics debt-free people all have in common. Hint: It isn’t that they make more money than you. However, one of the major ones is that debt-free people SPEND a lot less.
“Debt-free people live on less than they make. You can start to improve your situation immediately by changing the way you look at your money. Imagine you make 10%, 25%, or even 50% less than you do. Make a budget using that math. It may seem impossible at first, but start making cuts to your spending.”
You might think money is already tight, but once you sit down and do the math you’d be surprised. It might mean you sell a car for one with a lower payment, move into a smaller apartment. If you’re really committed, it is totally possible! You just have to fight your own ego, your own poverty mentality telling you that you need those things.
One other big characteristic the article listed is that debt-free people have financial goals. If you do not have a purpose for your money, it will get sucked into any and everything. A night out on the town here, a quick stop at the grocery store even though your ‘fridge is full of leftovers there. A man without vision will perish!
You make goals on where you want to vacation, places you want to visit, how much you want to weigh – well, you need one for your finances as well. If you have no overall vision or plan to get debt-free – it will continually get pushed off. “I’ll think about making a plan next month when money isn’t as tight.” or “I should be getting a bonus soon and that will help me start.”
Clear away your objections and start this new mindset today! Don’t just accept your debt or living paycheck-to-paycheck as a way of life. That is not living your life by design, it’s living by default. And you are totally better than that.
Are you debt-free? If so, tell me how awesome it is to be free of that bondage now. Just realize these principles still apply to you! Make sure you are changing your whole mindset to stay out of debt for good and to build a financial future for yourself and your family.
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Let’s start your week off right. Join us this Monday afternoon on The Dani Johnson Show at 12 pm ET/11 am CT for more tips and strategies to live your life by design.
In great faith,
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