Chapter 1

DEBT IS A HUGE epidemic that is sweeping the nation, leaving those in its wake feeling out of control and desperate. There is nothing more terrifying than waking up to thousands of dollars in credit card debt, a huge car payment, and student loans that will take a lifetime to pay off. It may seem like this is a bit exaggerated but this is the life that many of us live. Debt affects everyone from the single mom to the CEO of a major corporation. What are the signs that you are heading for disaster? Can you dig your way out before it’s too late? It begins with you making a choice to dump your debt and maintain a lifestyle that revolves around that decision.

Living Paycheck to Paycheck – Do you find yourself having no money immediately after you get paid? Your money comes in, your money goes out, and you’re left wondering where it went and why. This is the way around 76% of Americans live. You work hard for your money so it makes sense to take control back and start telling that money where to go in the form of a budget.

Creditors are calling – Collection calls can ruin your day. Not only do they call at the oddest hours, many are mean and nasty. When you get to the point where your bills are being sent to collection because you can’t even make the minimum payments, there is a problem. This is a huge sign that your debt needs a reduction and your household needs a budget.

Impulse Spending – Is it hard for you to tell that inner child “no?” When you see something, do you immediately buy it? If so, these types of impulse buys can lead to a mountain of debt if you’re not careful. Having your money budgeted out each month can reduce the number of impulse buys because you have already told your money where it is going ahead of time.

Money Fights – To those who are married, this applies to you. Money fights tend to happen when you and your significant other are not on the same page regarding the money coming into the household. This causes stress and frustration in the marriage and is one of the biggest causes of divorce today. It’s important to discuss money and come up with a plan of action together so that you both know what to expect.

If one or these signs sound familiar it may be time to cut down on your spending and start getting rid of whatever debt you may have. Dumping debt is not as hard as it may sound. The written budget is a surefire way to pull yourself up from the pitfalls of debt and there are a huge number of resources out there to help you get started. The hardest part about it is changing your mindset about money and disciplining yourself to live per a written plan. If you stick with it, you are no doubt on your way to a lifetime of Financial Freedom.

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