The following is a guest post by Neal Frankle. He’s a Certified Financial Planner and blogs at Wealth Pilgrim. Neal writes about taking action steps to improve clients’ financial situations and finding balance at the same time.
Your Secret â€œGet Out Of Credit Card Debtâ€ Weapon
Believe it or not, there really is a secret to getting out of credit card debt. Itâ€™s something that very few people do. But when they do, things improve big time â€“ and fast.
The secret isnâ€™t a black-jack system or hot stock tip.
Itâ€™s simply forgiveness.
Thatâ€™s right. If you want to change your financial (or any) situation, you have to forgive yourself for the mistakes youâ€™ve made first. I say this because I understand the power of guilt. Iâ€™ll share a story that illustrates this point.
Steve is a disabled friend on a very limited income. He doesnâ€™t live extravagantly but once in awhile, he goes on a spending binge. He does this, I think, to escape his loneliness. Itâ€™s not hard to understand and have sympathy for him.
But the piper has to be paid sooner or later, When that credit card bill comes in, Steve spirals down into a greater depression. He canâ€™t believe he got himself into debt again.
The only remedy for those awful guilty feelings are spendingâ€¦ so off he goes. He feels better for awhile.
Itâ€™s a vicious cycle for Steve and lots of other people too. You might not face the same demons that Steve does, but you might find yourself overspending in order to get some relief. Even if itâ€™s only a short term solution.
Rather than ignore this problem, letâ€™s treat it at itâ€™s core. For many of us, the guilt and other bad feelings are whatâ€™s behind our self destructive financial action. We have to get rid of the guilt if we want to stop that behavior once and for all.
How? – By forgiving ourselves.
If you are in a financial mess today, there is no good reason to continue to beat yourself up over it. In fact, there are only bad reasons to continue to do so. Now I realize that itâ€™s very easy to say this and very difficult to do. I donâ€™t have a magic wand that will help any of us forgive ourselves immediatelyâ€¦but I do have a few ideas that will help.
The number one best way to forgive yourself for the mistakes youâ€™ve made is to get busy in action now. Do estimable acts. If you used to spend money without keeping track, start tracking your spending now.
If you have high credit card debt, take action to reduce the cost of your debt. There are plenty of ways to do this.
Whatever it is, map out a plan and take action. Donâ€™t just stand thereâ€¦.do something. By taking positive action, youâ€™ll be so busy you wonâ€™t have time to feel guilty or spend too much. At this point, youâ€™ll have a choice â€“ you can either focus on the positive action you are taking in the present or you can dwell in the past.
Right now, you may not have the choiceâ€¦.thatâ€™s why you might be stuck in the guilt which is a recipe for getting deeper in the hole.