Working to Eliminate Debt
Do you sometimes feel like you’re making a lot of sacrifices to live debt free? Debt free living is easy if you don’t have any debt. But, living debt free and working to eliminate debt, at the same time, can be a struggle. It can feel like you’re always giving up what you really want to meet that goal.
Sometimes we can’t help but get discouraged. Our desires and wishes get the best of us from time to time. But, it seems to me that things always work out for the best if you just hang in there a little longer.
On a diet commercial the other day, they said that all cravings pass within about 15 minutes. If you can just hold off for those 15 minutes, the craving will pass. I’ve found this to be somewhat true with impulse buying. Justification of a non-purchase takes about 15-20 minutes and the urge to buy goes away. Let me tell you my own experience.
I’ve been wanting a front loading washer and dryer set ever since they become popular styles for the home. Each time I go into a store that sells them, I stand and gaze at the beautiful pieces of machinery and even go so far as to compare prices. But, even at the low end, a set of these machines will cost you about $1600. I couldn’t tell you how many times I almost approached the salesman about that "easy pay plan."
Each time I hesitated, and after about 15 minutes of thinking about it, I would walk away. I would tell myself that the purchase wasn’t necessary right now. Besides, my antique washer and dryer were still working by some miracle . And, I didn’t really need a set that cost $1500 when I could get a perfectly fine washer and dryer for about $650, when I "really" need them.
Talking yourself out of a purchase is hard when you’ve been talking yourself into them for so long. Justifying a non-purchase for the cause of living and becoming debt free is well worth it. I have about four years to go before I see zero debt. After that, I can save enough to buy any washer/dryer set I want in as little as two months, based on my current debt payment. By then, my tastes and the styles may have changed.
I got my new washer and dryer. They aren’t front loaders and they aren’t "new." But, they are new to me. During a remodeling project, a friend discovered that the machines they had would not be accommodated in the space and decided to invest in a new stackable set. They are less than five years old. Less than 1/4 the age of my current set (which wasn’t even a matching pair), and in great condition. We acquired both for a total of $150.
I’m happy with the purchase. It satisfies my goal to become debt free and saved me money. It’s a debt free purchase I can live with! Now, I don’t have to worry about debt consolidation and getting stuck without a washer or dryer. The old ones were getting temperamental and it was obvious that the day of retirement was nearing for both. Living without a washer and dryer is just not practical with a family of six.
Living to become and remain debt free is often a challenge in a world that’s credit card crazy. We live with constant exposure to credit card debt "pushers." If they can’t get you at home, by mail or TV commercial, they get you as you walk in the door of the store and at the checkout.
When you want something and you happen to stop and look, just remember the 15 minute non-purchase theory. Walk around and justify not making the purchase for at least 15 minutes. That’s long enough to talk yourself out of it and save the day. You’ll save money and stay true to your goal to become or remain debt free!
Your Own Personal Financial Situation
If your credit card debt is keeping you up at night, there’s a strong possibility that you’re in the process of determining which path would best suit you so that you can be free of debt and start living again. As a matter of fact, you’ve probably scoured the Internet for hours at a time, yet still find yourself confused and not sure if consumer credit counseling is your best option or perhaps debt settlement may be your path to financial freedom.
Your own personal financial situation is really the most important factor that can best determine the most fitting choice when it comes to your way out of debt. You see, consumer credit counseling is a good choice for individuals whose debt isn’t extremely high, and who can commit to a long term repayment arrangement with their creditors. If you should choose to hire a consumer credit counseling agency, they will contact your creditors to negotiate reduced interest rates on your accounts, and set you up with a reasonable monthly payment, which they will distribute to your various creditors. Usually, the entire process will leave you with no further money owed by the end of approximately five years or so. You’ll still be required to pay some interest, and the full balance on each of your accounts, but as was stated previously, the end result will leave you with no further debt.
Does consumer credit counseling work for everybody? Well, certainly not. As a matter of fact, I recently talked with an individual who had been enrolled in consumer credit counseling for almost two years, paying out nearly $1,700 per month. What’s worse is that the program wasn’t scheduled to end and bring this person out of debt for at least another three years. This is understandable because the consumer credit counseling agency was only able to negotiate the interest rates on this person’s accounts down to 16%. Obviously, in this case, debt settlement may be the right way to go. You see, based on the amount of money still owed, this individual will be free from debt in less than 18 months if they choose to attempt negotiating with their creditors for a reduced payoff amount (debt settlement). So, as you can see, if consumer credit counseling is not a good option for you, debt settlement may be if you can afford to accumulate sufficient funds on a monthly basis, or if you have funds available through a 401K or home equity line of credit. Some people have even borrowed from close family members to successfully reduce their debt through debt settlement. If one or more of these opportunities is available to you, perhaps you may want to consider debt settlement as a viable path to become debt-free.