What does it take to get angry at the debt you have accrued? Debt is like a prison, a place of bondage with a ball and chain. As per CNBC, the average person is $38,000 in debt, leaving 80% saying they are living paycheck to paycheck. America is in second place behind Belgium in our National Debt. How do we get out of this? What does it take for us to take action?
Belgium (National Debt: €399.5 billion ($456.18 billion USD))
United States of America (National Debt: $19.23 trillion (USD))
Spain (National Debt: €1.09 trillion ($1.24 USD))
Singapore (National Debt: $350 billion ($254 billion US))
You usually don't start in massive amounts of debt, and it likely begins with a purchase here and there that you may or may not deserve. I mean you work hard, and if you don't have the cash now you will have it when the bill comes in...? Not to mention the assault we get through marketing! I am overwhelmed with posts on Facebook, commercials on TV and radio, you name it, and they are looking for you to buy their products. When I use the credit card, it is so instant, you buy it, and it's yours! However, if you lack discipline in paying that bill off every month, the amount can and will creep up on you. Then you may turn out using it just out of necessity, and that is when the trouble comes!
We took out a card with 0% thinking about how lucky we are. Not realizing when a big company offers 0% they are banking on human behavior, behavior that is not known for discipline. Conduct that they pay thousands to learn about, keeping them a profitable business! We would use the card for things that we wanted a baseball camp for my son, school materials, dinner out, all to pay it off every month if we could. Well, when we couldn't pay it off, it was ok because we didn't pay any interest, so it didn't hurt too bad (justification). Since our habitually using the card we came to a place where we could no longer pay it off monthly, and we set ourselves up for automatic payments. Well, at least we could still make the monthly payments! All while continuing to use the card! Our turning point was when they increased the amount of our automatic monthly payment. The company only took the agreed amount and then slapped us with a late fee, increased our interest to 18%, and they were less than polite about it.
I was trying to explain to the employee that it was a mistake we didn't know that they increased the amount. I wanted them to take off the fee and put us back at 0% or a low percentage because we paid faithfully. The employee explained she would fix the cost and our automatic payments, but the interest would stay. At that moment, I thought of all the people they do this to and how awful it was. They hope to get you cornered, so you have no choice but to pay them what they want or demand. They are banking on human behavior, so you have no choice but to take their fees and pay out the nose. I felt as though they thought they had me and were taking full advantage of it. Our new monthly charges $200+
What I realized
The credit card business prey's on people and their weakness. It's a business, and they are trying to capitalize where they can, I understand that. When a company does what they did to me going from 0-18 percent with no middle ground, it is completely taking advantage!
What they didn't know
That was all I needed to light a fire under me! They helped me to move quickly and with great focus to get rid of that balance on my card. I am now intentional on killing my debt forever. They will never make another dime off of me!
So what will it take for you to move? I hope not something similar costing you extra and forcing you into a corner. Take a stand and be intentional, nothing beats the power of focus and intention.
DEBT = PRISON
Get focused and get out!