Is it in the budget?

You know, I’ve been down this road before. Refinance, turn up the spending, and refinance again. So much that I’ve continually increased our family’s debt by thousands of dollars – maybe even if I added it up hundreds of thousands counting our equity loan. EEEK!! Why and how the heck did I do that? And why did I need an equity loan if I refinanced?

And this is the merry-go-round that I’ve been on that I recently (last May) decided to get off from. I’m not as dizzy as I was in May, being 4 months into managing a tight cash flow budget.

I’m almost debt-free not counting the house, thanks to Dave Ramsey. He’s kept me on the straight and narrow, and talks basic sense about finances and the trouble America is in with debt.

The problem is debt is sneaky, and many of us are still asleep at the wheel. And with all the financial trouble we hear about day-in day-out, things are not getting better. Credit card companies are feeling the crunch in late payments. I know that when I was on the debt-train, that the collection calls were relentless. American Excess was the worst, calling 2x a day and you always knew because the caller ID noted Phoenix or Florida – their 2 collection centers. They can get downright nasty, even after I spent thousands of dollars with them and ALWAYS paid them off – eventually. Maybe not in the time frame they would have preferred – as my husband says, we’re in the late pay pile, not the no pay pile.

And news on the street is collectors are turning up the heat. In the WSJ article yesterday, the creditors are getting bigger sticks to beat their delinquent payers up. They’re even beefing up their collections staffs with the hopes that they will collect a little more.

Got your caller ID ready? Good, you’ll be able to ignore the calls. Whatever you do, DON’T answer. They’ll fake being nice, and then be ignorant.

More importantly, let’s get smart. Let’s not buy into our debt-ridden culture. Let’s use cash, buy with cash, save with cash, like our grandparents did. What happens when the ATM is down? You use cash. It’s always accepted. And is highly prized in crisises like torrential storms where you couldn’t use a card reader to save your life. But with cash, you can.

Cash is King!

I learned that in a training class that discussed understanding financials back a few years ago. It’s still true.

If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, check into Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover – it’s good, straightforward advice that will get you out of debt and using income the way we should be.

I’m almost out, and I’ve got my entire household asking me: “Is it in the budget?” Music to my ears.

#daveramsey, #finances, #creditcarddebt, #debt

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