· In order to remain adequately focused on the things that matter most in life, you need to eliminate the distraction and stress caused by unnecessary debt and spending.
· Many of us find ourselves financially overextended or desperately trying to fill a void in our lives through spending.
· All of this adds stress and pulls us away from achieving what really makes us happy.
· Let’s first focus on controlling the spending that leads us to debt:
o Create a budget based on your income, living expenses, and savings.
o If you want something, like a new outfit or a vacation, save up until you have enough to purchase it outright; don’t go into debt on nonessentials.
o Make sure you have a savings safety net for unplanned expenses, like medical costs or home repairs.
o If you are using shopping as a means to make yourself feel better, seek out some help to get to the real issues behind this behavior.
· Get rid of your existing debt by taking the following steps:
o Stop adding to it immediately.
o Look to your budget (created earlier) and add a debt-repayment plan into the equation; you should still save some money for emergency use, but any extra money you have should go to paying down your debts as quickly as possible.
o Calculate how long it will take you to get out of debt with your current repayment plan and mark your calendar as a means to stay motivated.
o If you start earning more, use those extra earnings to pay down your debt at a faster rate.
o Seek professional help if you are overwhelmed with large debts and feel helpless or hopeless.
o Once you pay off your debts, celebrate! You deserve to treat yourself. Just don’t use a credit card to pay for it!
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