How to Use Self Discipline and Stay Out of Debt
Staying out of debt can be a principle that you’ve learned from previous mistakes or you are smart enough to have learned from others and, therefore do not want to place yourself in debt. There is some debt that can be justified more than other debt. For example, going in debt to buy a home may be a wise choice if you do not over extend yourself with a large mortgage payment. Lenders will usually offer more than what you may be comfortable with. Going in debt for your education may be another acceptable reason to borrow. This article is mainly referring to staying out of consumer debt, although being debt free is optimal.
The principle of debt is like going on a diet or any other goal you set. If you commit yourself to do it, you don’t have to make the decision again. Staying out of debt is more an attitude and philosophy than anything else. Consider these ways of thinking about staying out of debt.
A. Become aware of the benefits of staying out of debt. You have more freedom to make financial choices and you are a “slave” to no one. You are not obligated to any payment you HAVE to make each month. You can do whatever fits within your budget with no “chains” attached.
B. Make the commitment and decision once and stick with it. You don’t think about what you are going to do in each situation because you have a higher goal of staying out of debt. It becomes much easier to stay out of debt with your resolution. Everything is a tradeoff.
C. Stopping thinking and rationalizing that you deserve to have more than what you can afford. Most likely, people have what they deserve FOR NOW. They have traded their current situation for some other choices. For instance, they may be in college, have little income, and are sacrificing to earn more income in the future. Others may not have wanted to further their education placing themselves in a situation where they don’t have the income they desire at this time. Everyone makes different choices all with good or bad consequences. The good thing is you can change this situation.
D. Have patience with your financial situation. You’ve gotten along without all the extras before now, you can wait a little longer and stay out of debt by doing so. You may not be making just what you want to make right now, but especially young people, will increase their income as the months go by and receive pay or income hikes. It all takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
E. Don’t fall into the instant gratification pit. If you want something really bad, think about it for some time. If it is no longer available when you finish seriously thinking it over, then it probably wasn’t meant to be anyway.
F. Don’t hop on the “Joneses” merry-go-round. There is always someone who will have more than you do. It is just life no matter how high you are on the ladder. Successful corporations, especially those selling name brand items at top dollar are counting on people desiring to feed their pride and constantly keeping up with the “Joneses.” When you are depressed because you are in debt over your head and possibly looking at bankruptcy, the Joneses are nowhere to be found!
G. When you want something really badly, think how fast the newness is going to wear off and you will be left with the debt. Think about how fast technology changes and you are left with an outdated model, but still have the debt to pay off.
Seriously think about the advantages verse the disadvantages of purchasing something. Think about everything from the perspective of staying out of debt; is it worth the money, and the cost of upkeep and storing it when not in use? How many travel trailers and pool tables have we seen just sitting around people’s homes and swimming pools with nobody swimming because somebody got the whim they wanted to buy something they hadn’t had before. The newness wears off quickly and you are left with the debt or disappointment.
H. Determine between needs, wants, and “have tos.” As you get older and attain more wisdom, most realize that you don’t “need” near the stuff you thought you did. They were merely wants and you didn’t determine the difference. It is good to splurge a little if you can truly afford it, but assess if it is really worth your hard work and money to pay for it.
Most millionaires I know have denied themselves in order to accumulate the money they have. In the process, they realize they haven’t needed as much as others think they need. When they acquire the wealth, they end up not buying what they think they wanted when they became wealthy, because they realize “things” aren’t what make them truly happy.
I. Spend time on becoming who you really are, not by defining yourself with the materialistic things around you. Experience has shown in the corporate world how “popular” and “envious” people are towards the top executive(s) until he/she looses their job and no longer makes the exorbitant income. Many times most all of the “friends” disappear because that person no longer facilitates their worldly success. Your friends will like you for WHO you are, not WHAT you have.
J. Bring in your spouse or good friend to help remind you to stay on course or congratulate you when you do!
Using self discipline and staying out of debt can bring much happiness and peace to your life. It is really hidden wisdom to know this fact. Decide to decide to stay out of debt. Make a plan, follow your plan, and rejoice in your discipline to stay out of debt.
By following this philosophy, your life will be one of bliss and fulfillment because you know who you are intrinsically and not by the things surrounding you. By staying out of debt, you will be the recipient of serenity, contentment, and freedom that few people know.